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Intel Lynnfield CPU Bests Nehalem In Performance/Watt

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the when-ndas-expire dept.

Intel 173

Vigile writes "Not many people have debated that Intel's Nehalem architecture is the fastest available for consumer desktop computers since it was released last year, but quite a few have complained about the cost of the platform. Intel just released new Lynnfield-based processors under both the Core i7 and Core i5 names and tests are showing the new CPUs beating Nehalem in both performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar tests to a startling degree. And while raw performance probably still goes to the Nehalem-based Core i7 CPUs, the lower prices of motherboards and memory for Lynnfield processors will likely more than make up for it." Update: 09/08 14:03 GMT by T : There are more eye-wateringly exhaustive examinations of the new chips all over the Web; here's HotHardware's version, and Tom's Hardware's.

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arm (2, Interesting)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350053)

How do these compare to "popular" arm chips? Ideally ones powerful enough to run netbooks not just phones.

Re:arm (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350143)

If you imagine ARM as a women's flyweight newbie and Lynnfield as the men's heavyweight world champion in boxing, you got a pretty good idea how that match will play out. Not nearly the same class and the results are as expected.

Re:arm (1, Interesting)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350515)

The troll is not that far off. However, a car analogy is probably better:

The ARM chip is a Prius hybrid.

The Intel Core series is a 15-year-old diesel schoolbus.

Re:arm (3, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350575)

More like a diesel locomotive, more absolute power burned but significantly better MIPS/Watt. If the ARM architecture gave better MIPS/Watt then you'd see supercomputers based on it, you don't.

Re:arm (4, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350837)

There are plenty of ARM processors with a great MIPS/W rating. Just not a great FLOPS/W rating, which is what keeps them out of supercomputers.

Re:arm (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350853)

A bus still tends to be better than a hybrid in passenger miles per gallon. I wasn't disputing the superiority of server CPUs for use in servers.

Re:arm (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351779)

What is it now, the secret Linux on ARM "this will crush Intel any day now" idiot brigade doing the modding? I guess I'm in for another dose of negative karma on this post, but wtf.... we're talking about 2-500$ quad-core CPUs with a 95W TDP. There's not an ARM processor in sight that is even remotely competing in this class. Maybe if this was about some low-end Atoms the question could have made a little bit of sense, but now it's just to laugh at. And the ARM fanbois with no humor I guess.

Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350173)

and btw, is that the best fuckwad pseudo you could come with?
"Soft-dicked dweeb" or "babbling-fucktard" would have been more appropriate.
Whose Facebook friend are you? Your mom's?
She's too indulgent with you, kill yourself, turd!

Re:arm (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350345)

How is a raven like a writing desk? They're entirely different kinds of products. They're not even the same kind of computer (RISC versus CISC), but even setting that aside, you'd be better off comparing an ARM CPU to one of Intel's low-end Atom offerings.

Re:arm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350625)

They're entirely different kinds of products.

They're both Von Neumann architectures. If my application is parallelizable and not written in assembly, I can easily switch it from running on n Lynnfield CPUs to running on m ARM CPUs. In that case, only performance-per-watt and performance-per-dollar matter.

Re:arm (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351017)

> They're both Von Neumann architectures.

And an alien will find there's little difference between you and a rat. Come back to planet earth sometime.

Heck both are not even made of dark matter- that would be the most interesting point if the alien is made of dark matter (which apparently makes up >90% of the matter in the known universe, according to many scientists).

Re:arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29351671)

> They're both Von Neumann architectures.

And an alien will find there's little difference between you and a rat. Come back to planet earth sometime.

We're getting well off topic here, but surely 'how does a human compare to a rat?' is a valid question. Especially for an alien I would imagine.

Re:arm (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352291)

I agree that it's a valid question.

My point is using the AC's logic, one might even answer "They're both Von Neumann architectures" to your question too. Which isn't a very useful IMO.

As for an alien, it may depend a lot on the alien :). Who knows, maybe with some aliens it might be like us comparing a small snowflake with a bigger one, before the snowflakes both vaporize in a furnace - esp if their timescales are much longer than ours...

Re:arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29352775)

Go ahead. Scoff at the ARM architecture based on aliens and dark matter arguments and mod that shit up to +5 insightful. Meanwhile I'll be running my company on ARM and beat yours at the marketplace.

Re:arm (1)

MightyDrunken (1171335) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352785)

Heck both are not even made of dark matter- that would be the most interesting point if the alien is made of dark matter (which apparently makes up >90% of the matter in the known universe, according to many scientists).

Well that could answer the Fermi paradox.

Re:arm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350663)

GP is obviously asking about perf/$ and perf/watt, where ARM has always been king. The question was almost certainly rhetorical, nearly trollish, given the obvious result.

In other news, every Intel processor since the P3 has been a RISC execution core with an x86 translation layer (and all competing processors have had similar translation layers, even for "RISC" ISAs, for about the same period of time).

So, to summarize:

"How does a Cortex A9 compare to a i7-870?"
"Poe wrote on both"

Re:arm (1)

zokier (1049754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350691)

I'd be interested to know how would a highly clocked, 8 core, ARM based CPU made at 45nm process and fitted to be compatible with some current tech (PCIe 16x for GPU and DDR3 memory) compare to anything offered at desktop market now. Of course there is the little problem with no actual software optimized for that kind of architecture.

Re:arm (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351893)

I would imagine that if it was a great drop in cost compared to performance that they would already be making them. If we are having this discussion now, engineers have had it years before and decided to pass.

Re:arm (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352867)

The popular ARM chips are single-core Cortex A8 running at between 600MHz - 1GHz. They perform slightly better than (single-core) Atom clock-for-clock on most workloads, and slightly worse on a few. The next generation chips that are just starting to hit the market are based on the Cortex A9, which does a bit better clock-for-clock and scales up to 4 cores per die. ARM chips also typically have the memory and flash controllers, GPU, and a DSP on die. Something like the OMAP3530 consumes around 250mW in real use or around 15mW when playing back MP3s on the DSP. They are typically limited to around 1GB of RAM, with only about 256MB being available in package-on-package configurations (i.e. not requiring a more expensive motherboard).

In short, they compare like apples and oranges. In terms of performance per watt, the ARM chip most likely wins by an order of magnitude - more if you include the DSP. In terms of absolute performance, the i7 wins by at least an order of magnitude.

Why are they still calling it i7? (2, Insightful)

themysteryman73 (771100) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350083)

Perhaps it's nearly time to upgrade my aging Athlon X2 5600+...

One thing that I find interesting about this is that Intel decided to still call it "i7" when it apparently doesn't fit into the Nehalem-based i7 motherboards. As the article correctly pointed out - why not call it "i6" to prevent consumer confusion?

Re:Why are they still calling it i7? (4, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350129)

Perhaps it's nearly time to upgrade my aging Athlon X2 5600+... One thing that I find interesting about this is that Intel decided to still call it "i7" when it apparently doesn't fit into the Nehalem-based i7 motherboards. As the article correctly pointed out - why not call it "i6" to prevent consumer confusion?

My processor goes to i11.

Re:Why are they still calling it i7? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350317)

why don't you just go to i10 make that faster

Re:Why are they still calling it i7? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350759)

no, but see, his goes to i11.....

Re:Why are they still calling it i7? (2, Funny)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351093)

Lame, my processor is restricted to the reals.

Re:Why are they still calling it i7? (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352021)

Can I raise a practical question at this point? Will your processor be able to run Stonehenge v1.8 tonight?

Re:Why are they still calling it i7? (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352611)

The marketing department spokesperson was quoted as saying 'i10'nd to name things the same as previous products, to reduce the amount of brands we have to promote'.

Lack of focus (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350121)

I've begun to feel that Intel is lacking focus in their chip lineup. While it makes sense that they have different series for different markets, within those lineups they have too many disparate chips that just cloud the water.

Atom Z vs Atom N is one such case. The Atom is supposed to be their embedded processor series, but they just can't shake off the PC market yoke and focus solely on embedded customers.

They have server CPUs, desktop CPUs, mobile CPUs, and embedded CPUs. But within each segment there are just too many choices that make it difficult to understand the whole picture without true data analysis like this article.

Re:Lack of focus (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350169)

It's called binning and price discrimination. One is a technical/economic tool to maximize profits based on the non-perfect nature of chip manufacture, the other is the capitalists favorite tool to extract the maximum profit possible out of the consumer.

Re:Lack of focus (5, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350327)

Wow, how is explaining the market dynamics of chip manufacturing a troll?!? Was it the use of the word capitalist? You do know that it's a perfectly valid economics term, right?

Re:Lack of focus (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350767)

Was it the use of the word capitalist? You do know that it's a perfectly valid economics term, right?

Only when followed by the word "pig!" and uttered in an Eastern European accent.

Re:Lack of focus (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351139)

Wow, how is explaining the market dynamics of chip manufacturing a troll?!? Was it the use of the word capitalist?

Ahh you left out the rest of the phrase "capitalists favorite tool to extract the maximum profit".

Everyone knows the actual favorite capitalist tools to extract profit, in order, are:

1) Form a Monopoly (Microsoft)

2) Form an Oligopoly / Cartel (OPEC, to some extent Intel/AMD)

3) Form a confuse-opoly to eliminate the free market by making it incomprehensible (cell phone pricing, and to a lesser extent, CPU pricing)

4) Government intervention via patents, regulations, govt contracts, special taxes against your competitors

5) Marketing using sex appeal (well, maybe not the capitalists favorite tool, but it's my favorite)

6) Global movement of capital and jobs via world trade while preventing populations from moving along (due to culture / language / govt issues)

Blah blah blah, somewhere around favorite tool number 25796274 there is yours, "price discrimination"

So that is what made it vaguely "troll-y"

Re:Lack of focus (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351257)

You're new here aren't you? The /. way involves:
3. ????
4. Profit!.

Re:Lack of focus (1)

coolsteve (1582557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352925)

You're new here aren't you? The /. way involves: 3. ???? 4. Profit!.

No one on /. these days remember that meme. I know. I've tried using it before, and with little success...

Re:Lack of focus (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350213)

One wonders if this is a lack of focus, or if they aren't hugely interested in having the whole picture be understood(at least by end users).

If, for instance, they are assuming that the first line of selection will be done by the (presumably informed and competent) OEM, the amount of choice the customer has to deal with is considerably reduced. You pretty much just choose the device you want, and then pick from a very limited set of chips available in that device. Server configuration is still a bit complex; but so are server applications, so server customers can suck it up.

Aside from enthusiasts who just like following the stuff, the relevant picture isn't all that complex. If you want a netbook, you get Atom, game over. If you want an ultralight, you get some cut-down ULV version of the core2. If you get a laptop or a normal desktop, you get a core2. If you get an enthusiast model or workstation, you get a quad core. Within each device type, there are only really a few clock speed/cache size options to choose from(and, unless you are doing Serious Computing or gaming, it hardly matters which one you choose).

Re:Lack of focus (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350953)

the relevant picture isn't all that complex. If you want a netbook, you get Atom, game over. If you want an ultralight, you get some cut-down ULV version of the core2. If you get a laptop or a normal desktop, you get a core2. If you get an enthusiast model or workstation, you get a quad core.

What was that you were saying about "not confusing"? Jeez.

Okay I have a Pentium 4. I want to upgrade. What's the modern-day equivalent of a Pentium 5? I see Atom notebooks for sale for $300 but those seem to have less power than what I have now, so do I get a Core2 CPU instead, or is that considered too old? Am I suppose to get an i7 processor? Or perhaps an i8? Maybe I should look at AMD instead?

This confusion reminds me of what happened with Apple with they had Performas, Quadras, and Centris Macintoshes. It was a mess of models that had no logical consistency, left the consumer confused, the company strung-out supporting too many brands, and almost drove Apple to bankruptcy in 1995 (as happened to Atari and Commodore the year before).

Re:Lack of focus (3, Insightful)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351329)

The only people confused are the tech-savvy people who care. The rest of the consumers are just happy with the performance of the computer / laptop they bought at the price-point they could afford, blissfully ignorant of the differences in power, cores, and battery / energy use.
I have an Atom-based netbook. I didn't know it was an atom when I bought it. I knew it was only â199 for an ultraportable that would allow me to read PDFs, read and write office documents (in OpenOffice), and surf the web.

Re:Lack of focus (1)

skolima (1159779) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351569)

Actually, if you're using a Pentium 4, Intel Atom is also an upgrade. I recently went from Pentium 4 HT 540 (Prescott, 3.2GHz) to Atom 330 (1.6GHz, dual core, HT, D945GCLF2 motherboard) on my home media server and noticed a performance increase (of about 20% with the things I cared to measure, but never the less - an increase) while the power usage dropped to 20% of what it used to be.

Re:Lack of focus (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350571)

They have to keep up the idea that there's competition by having many different brands offering many different options. Truth is that in many markets it's now a grand choice of Intel, Intel and Intel. Then you usually make more money keeping your customers confused and selling outdated or low-end processors to high-end prices than making it all very obvious. AMD is struggling badly to carve out any sort of niche where they can get a premium, delivering value processors isn't making them enough money to do what's necessary neither in R&D nor in process development. Intel on the other hand is pounding away at systems-on-a-chip, SSDs, higher-end graphics and really moving towards the Intel computer with your choice of Dell, HP or Compaq sticker. You can tell nVidia fears that future too.

Re:Lack of focus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350607)

That's one of the reasons I got a Mac. I got fed up with Windows, fed up with the GPU mumbo-jumbo and fed up with the CPU mumbo-jumbo.

I want a desktop or a laptop. I have X money. I have very few choices with limits I can understand (CPU speed, max RAM, installed GPU+RAM, etc). Since only the Mac Pro uses a different kind of CPU, all the other Macs can pretty much be compared by CPU clock speed alone.

Re:Lack of focus (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351105)

So you got a Mac because of the lack of choice available at each price point?

That makes a whole lot of sense...

Re:Lack of focus (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351339)

I've begun to feel that Intel is lacking focus in their chip lineup.

Yes. Because they can afford it.

Now fab-less AMD remains in remote second position and can't really compete against the Chipzilla.

That gives a perfect chance to Intel to further fragment the market to maximize the profits.

Pedantry note (4, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350167)

I think the submitter means "disagreed", or "argued" not "debated". I expect that in the early stages quite a lot of people debated the subject, but when the results become clear they stopped arguing and there was a general agreement

Yes, I know it's pedantry, but some of us like to live in a world where different words mean different things that make a useful distinction. And now, please, do get off my lawn before my dog comes and pees on your shoes.

Re:Pedantry note (-1, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350349)

What? You call yourself a Pedant and you did not pick up the erroneous use of 'effect'? Geez, what is Sloshdat coming to - we cannot even trust the Grammar Nazis and Pedants anymore...

Re:Pedantry note (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352735)

but when the results become clear they stopped arguing and there was a general agreement ...
some of us like to live in a world where different words mean different things

Are you referring to things like the difference between future tense and past tense? :-)

P.S. Please don't bother trying to pick apart any wording that I use in this post. I don't really give a crap about minor stuff like that, but if YOU are going to be a pedant, try not to be so hypocritical about it.

What are Intel's naming department on? (4, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350177)

I don't understand how Core was an improvement on Pentium. Pentium was iconic and a household name (which is pretty difficult to achieve in such a low-level field, especially as Intel typically doesn't sell direct to consumers). Core is boring and misleading. For instance, Core 2 Duo ... whuh?! Doesn't sound that impressive but definitely sounds muddled.

Now there's this i7 and i5 business. Maybe I'm just old but I preferred when "Pentium n" is the new processor and probably better than my "Pentium n-1". I can understand they may have wanted to avoid the Sexium but at least that would be distinctive. Core is about as boring as traditional IBM naming.

Their hardware is excellent these days. They went through some doldrums but generally seemed to sort themselves out pretty effectively and come out with ace stuff. Their Linux support is usually great too. Maybe one of these will be my new PC...

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (2, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350251)

I can understand they may have wanted to avoid the Sexium but at least that would be distinctive. Oh, I don't know, I've heard that Sex Sells.

Besides, if they had stuck that naming, we would probably have the Orgasium by now, and who wouldn't buy that!

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (1)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350283)

Just be thankful they didn't come up with something completely rotten, like, I dunno, "Phenom".

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351343)

Wait, that's a phenomenal name!

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350401)

"Centrino". They're not just selling a CPU these days, they're selling a platform. Thus, they are marketing a platform too. The fact that CPUs are still named at all is for the benefit of enthusiasts.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (2, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351037)

>>>The fact that CPUs are still named at all is for the benefit of enthusiasts.

False. If you bothered to learn your history, you'd know the reason why CPUs have names instead of numbers is because the courts ruled companies cannot trademark numbers. Thus the 80586 became the Pentium and that tradition has continued to today. They cannot just go back to calling them 80986 because of legal reasons.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29352049)

Sure they can, but then so can everyone else :D

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (3, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350487)

I think it has to do with the marketing idea that you concentrate on your primary brand--in this case "Intel". You de-emphasise your sub-brands by giving them dull generic sounding names. I suspect this was the idea behind Apple changing the Powerbook and iBook brands to MacBook Pro and MacBook respectively. Emphasise the "Mac" umbrella brand.

I think it's dumb, but there you go.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350541)

While I agree their current naming is stupid, Pentium was the next in line after the 80486 (ie. 80586, "Pent", 5, 586, get it?). Calling current chips 586's doesn't make any sense either.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350797)

When the Pentium 4 came out, it performed worse then the Pentium 3. Towards the middle or end of the Pentium 4's life was the only time AMD clearly trounced Intel. The Pentium brand was largely ruined.

Intel made an attempt to re-image itself and shack off any stigma associated with it's old, we're-the-biggest-so-we-don't-care-if-our-chips-suck selves, changing it's "Intel Inside" logo to "Intel Leap Ahead," dropping Pentium, etc.

Not sure that the new stuff is necessarily better, but I believe that was the reasoning behind the change.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351157)

I can understand they may have wanted to avoid the Sexium but at least that would be distinctive. Core is about as boring as traditional IBM naming.

They could have used 'hexium' or 'hexagonium' but the first name would have sounded like the CPU had a curse on it, and the second would lead users to think their data would disappear.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (2, Insightful)

baka_vic (769186) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351243)

The later Pentium 4 procs were just pushing higher and higher speeds with no regards to the incredible TDP they were now producing - basically it was the epitome of a hot and expensive processor which lost to AMD at that time. The Itanium sinking also doesn't help.

The Core stuff is from a different architecture lineage, and I guess they want to tell people that these processors were something different from the hot P4s.

But you're right, the Core naming is retarded - Core and Core 2, are different families, the solo, duo and quad, are the number of cores...people get confused as to what the '2' means - "is it 2 cores?" etc.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (4, Interesting)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351249)

These things happen. Sometimes words, and sometimes even letters, carry hype all by themselves. You wake up one day, and a capital letter X is all the rage. Apple buys NeXT, then you have MacOS X. Some agile methodology gurus want to sell some books and they invent eXtreme Programming. Microsoft, with a marketing department full of ironic hipsters from Seattle, decide that would make an awesome name for Windows XP too. X is everywhere. Fast forward a few years, and the X is out, and the word Core is in. Live on the bleeding edge of the RedHat-derivitive universe with Fedora Core. Apple APIs abound: Core Data, Core Animation, Core Image. The megahertz race gives way to multicore. X sounds cool. All by itself, it is one phoneme away from something that evokes coitus. Core is hip, central, musical: hardcore, grindcore, metalcore. Even the term for the captured state of an abnormally terminated computer program sounds cool: core dump.

Re:What are Intel's naming department on? (1)

koxkoxkox (879667) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352933)

No, not the Sexium, more like the Hexium or something like that (yeah, I know it was for the joke, but still ...)

AES benchmarks (3, Interesting)

a09bdb811a (1453409) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350191)

These chips have some kind of AES acceleration, called AES-NI.

Are there any benchmarks of this? I use dm-crypt on Linux w/ AES-128 and the throughput is pretty low, about 60MB/sec tops, not as fast as the disk itself.

Re:AES benchmarks (4, Informative)

Neil Hodges (960909) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350257)

The VIA Nano [wikipedia.org] has had AES, SHA-1, and SHA-256 acceleration since its inception.

Re:AES benchmarks (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350477)

No, Nehalem/Lynnfield does NOT have AES-NI. Westmere will, but only in 2010. As a heavy 1Gbit+ encrypted network user, 3x AES speedup is enough for me to postpone my purchases until then.

Re:AES benchmarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29351627)

But by the time you get AES-NI, it won't be NI any more because you will have it.
NI stands for New Instruction. Once it's out in the wild, it looses the NI postfix.

Re:AES benchmarks (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351583)

But do you trust hardware you can't examine to do your encryption for you? This is a bigger problem for the hard drives where we have to trust a controller to have the data stored at some encryption standard (and can't analyze the data ourselves to check that the encryption was applied properly), but a hardware implementation could, for instance, cache your keys somewhere not nearly volatile enough.

Re:AES benchmarks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29352525)

I call FUD. AES-NI instructions will do mathematical operations and will be documented in the development manuals just like any other instruction. And you can examine the output in your debugger like any other program. You could as well ask "But you do trust hardware you can't examine to do your addition for you?"

Nehalem vs. Nehalem (4, Informative)

Demetrius Berman (1633485) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350249)

Lynnfield is a Nehalem processor, just as the earlier Bloomfield is a Nehalem processor, hence the title to this article makes no sense. The difference is in socket (LGA 1156 vs. LGA 1366), and intended market ... with a couple design differences as well.

Re:Nehalem vs. Nehalem (5, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350757)

By definition, if it isn't a Nehalem die, it's not Nehalem, even if it's just a "tock" variant (die shrunk - see Intel's "tick/tock" roadmap) of Nehalem it's still a different chip design.

In this case, the CPU has significant design differences from a Nehalem CPU. There's a lot more than just removing some pins from the package. The CPU had to be changed significantly (one DDR channel removed, QPI replaced with DMI) in order to allow those pins to be removed.

The removal of QPI in favor of DMI (much slower but simpler/cheaper) is a *significant* difference.

Re:Nehalem vs. Nehalem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29351071)

It has differences from the LGA 1366 desktop and server parts. However both the new Lynnfield and also upcoming mobile parts (Clarksfield?)and the earlier LGA1366 desktop and server chips (Bloomfield being the desktop part, the server chip name eludes me at the moment) are all based on the Nehalem architecture. Westmere will be the die shrink on Nehalem with various parts for different markets, then the next architecture will be Sandy Bridge.

Re:Nehalem vs. Nehalem (2, Informative)

zokier (1049754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351099)

There isn't a single Nehalem die/chip. Nehalem refers to the general architecture on which Lynnfield, Bloomfield etc chips are based on.

Re:Nehalem vs. Nehalem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29351181)

By definition, if it isn't a Nehalem die, it's not Nehalem, even if it's just a "tock" variant (die shrunk - see Intel's "tick/tock" roadmap) of Nehalem it's still a different chip design.

In this case, the CPU has significant design differences from a Nehalem CPU. There's a lot more than just removing some pins from the package. The CPU had to be changed significantly (one DDR channel removed, QPI replaced with DMI) in order to allow those pins to be removed.

The removal of QPI in favor of DMI (much slower but simpler/cheaper) is a *significant* difference.

For someone who attempts to talk with such authority on the subject, you sure talk a lot of crap. Intel themselves, refer to the Core i5 as being members of the Nehalem microarchitecture family:

"The new Intel Coreâ i5 processor family, two new Intel Coreâ i7 processors and the Intel® Xeon processor 3400 series bring Intel's latest Nehalem microarchitecture to mainstream desktop and entry server markets."

Source [intel.com]

Re:Nehalem vs. Nehalem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29352969)

i7 has DMI between the PCIe bridge (Tylersburg) and the "ICH". Since (IIRC) the PCIe bridge is in the CPU on Lynnfield, having DMI matches i7. You have to keep in mind, i7 is a 3-chip solution, and Lynnfield is 2-chip.

Re:Nehalem vs. Nehalem (1)

kill-1 (36256) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351523)

Exactly. I also don't see why the memory for Lynnfield CPUs should be cheaper as the submitter claims.

Nevermind Performance per Watt (2, Interesting)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350259)

Okay I know it's important for big server farms, but personally speaking I'm not interested in performance per watt at all. I'm only interested in one thing: Which processor/motherboard/graphics card/OS combination gives me the biggest bang for the bucks for my gaming, compilation, and simulation needs?

Re:Nevermind Performance per Watt (3, Insightful)

remmelt (837671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350449)

Bang for the price-of-admittance buck or bang for the total-cost-of-ownership buck?

See, not only server farms need to pay their electricity bills. A modest system can be built in the under 50W range, where gamer systems don't have the 1000W PSU for nothing. There is a huge difference at the end of the month.

Re:Nevermind Performance per Watt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350693)

I don't have to worry about that here in the basement, because my mom always pays the electricity bill and she always brings pizzas and coke down here when I knock on the door. On my 30th birthday, I even got a cake from her!

Re:Nevermind Performance per Watt (1)

zokier (1049754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350573)

Best bang for buck CPU's are in the sub-$100 segment, maybe some dual-core Athlon, especially if you take the whole system cost into account. Lynnfield is designed for much bigger bang, at much higher cost, with lots of new tech (new socket, "new" memory(ddr3) etc).

Instead of asking best bang/buck, ask for largest bang at certain price point for cpu-mb-ram -combo. Also upgradability/longevity of the platform should be considered. With the new lynnfields you have large probability to have a viable upgrade path in the future, but with s775 its not as certain. Imho choosing CPU has never been more difficult than what it is now with i5 out. On the other hand, luckily most CPU's are powerful enough for average desktop usage. While some other CPU could be 10% faster than other in certain benchmark, in real life usage the differences usually aren't that clear, and performance should be adequate in most situations.

Re:Nevermind Performance per Watt (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350615)

Okay I know it's important for big server farms, but personally speaking I'm not interested in performance per watt at all. I'm only interested in one thing: Which processor/motherboard/graphics card/OS combination gives me the biggest bang for the bucks for my gaming, compilation, and simulation needs?

So you don't pay for your electricity consumption?
On the not-so-long term, energy costs outweigh hardware costs.

I mind Performance per Watt (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351435)

How nice for you not have a care in the world for energy consumption. As one who actually has utility bills to pay, my electric bill is around 20 cents per kwh, or $1752 per kw-year. If I can save 200 watts of continuous consumption, that's $350.40 less per year for me to pay. Also, I don't play games, so I don't give a flying fuck for graphics performance after the first couple of notches. The same goes for cars. I could drive a car that goes 200 mph and 0 to 60 in 3 seconds, but mpg is important to me. I get 44 mpg average.

Re:I mind Performance per Watt (0, Troll)

eabrek (880144) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352165)

How about a processor with 0 power consumption?
Of course, it is 0 performance...

Infinite performance per watt!

Performance per watt is a useless measure. People should use lowest power in a desired performance envelope. But that is not a single number you can use in a sound bite...

Obvious (1, Insightful)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350397)

Translation: High end CPU sucks power and is expensive. News at 11.

Re:Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350885)

Yeah, but its cheaper and sucks less power than even higher end CPU's.

Re:Obvious (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351293)

Which (Intel) CPUs would you describe as being even higher end than i7 Nehalems? Obviously I was referring to them, not the Lynnfield ones.

Off topic, but vaguely related (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350511)

Since we're talking about different Intel chip lines...

I've been laptop shopping, and I've seen two different kinds mobile processor names: P* vs. T*. For example, P8600 and T9600.

Could someone explain to me the significance of 'T' vs. 'P'?

Re:Off topic, but vaguely related (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350661)

There's several differences. I'm not a pro at this, but I did some research before buying my laptop.
You can look at ark.intel.com for details, but one big thing I noticed is that the P processors are 25W and T are 35W (Should mean longer battery life for P).
I also think that P is for Penryn, and that this is a new architecture somehow.

Re:Off topic, but vaguely related (1)

Skuto (171945) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351407)

Both are Penryn. P vs T is indeed the power efficiency.

Re:Off topic, but vaguely related (1)

hoffmanbike (1206840) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351391)

P is newer with a 1066mhz FSB and roughly comparable clock and cahce to the T series. The T series has a 800MHz FSB. use this to find the true differences: http://ark.intel.com/ [intel.com]

LGA 1366 dead now? (1)

Ultronator (900114) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350525)

Does this mean they're done making core i7, socket LGA 1366 cpus? Oh well, so much for my hopes of someday upgrading mine. LGA 1366 was a nice 9-10 month run while it lasted.

Re:LGA 1366 dead now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29350659)

You should be OK for a while, Westmeres ("core I9", 6 cores) will also use socket 1366 when those come out in a year or so. They aren't abandoning 1366, but it's targeted to high end CPUs, while the lower count sockets are for midrange.

Re:LGA 1366 dead now? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350749)

No, Gulftown is slated for socket 1366 next year. Of course it's list price is $1500 so whether you will want to upgrade to it is questionable.

Re:LGA 1366 dead now? (1)

Ultronator (900114) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350887)

Glad to hear my machine still has options for gaming in the future.

Re:LGA 1366 dead now? (1)

zokier (1049754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350753)

I think LGA 1366 will live on as the high-end platform it always has been. LGA 1156 will be middle-end, and 775 in low-end and legacy.

Re:LGA 1366 dead now? (1)

pete-wilko (628329) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350871)

Ya... well I outlaid on a core i7-920 setup 3 months ago, justifying the outlay cost as I thought there would be a decent lifespan in the architecture, so should be easy to upgrade for a couple of years on that platform. D'oh!

Re:LGA 1366 dead now? (2, Informative)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352947)

http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634&p=7 [anandtech.com]

Intel told me something interesting when I was out in LA earlier this summer: it takes at least 3 cores to fully saturate Lynnfield's dual-channel DDR3-1333 memory bus. That's three cores all working on memory bandwidth intensive threads at the same time. That's a pretty stiff requirement. In the vast, vast majority of situations Lynnfield's dual channel DDR3 memory controller won't hurt it.

Move up to 6 or 8 core designs and a third memory channel is necessary, and that's why we'll see those processors debut exclusively on LGA-1366 platforms. In fact, X58 motherboards will only need a BIOS update to work with the 6-core 32nm Gulftown processor next year. P55 looks like it'll be limited to four cores and below.

Fishy numbers? (2, Interesting)

NameIsDavid (945872) | more than 5 years ago | (#29350905)

Something seems strange with these numbers. My i7 920 system, overclocked to 3.2GHz, draws 95W at idle (monitor excluded). This is based on the APC utility that monitors my UPS unit into which my computer is plugged. This is with 6GB of DDR3-1600 RAM and a silent ATI 4670 card. Now, my GPU draws much less than the test system. However, the 60W difference between Nehalem and Lynnfield seems odd since that would means that my system would drop to 35W idle with Lynnfield!

Re:Fishy numbers? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351691)

However, the 60W difference between Nehalem and Lynnfield seems odd since that would means that my system would drop to 35W idle with Lynnfield!

Isn't the claimed 60W difference under load? The idle figures I see in the Tom's Hardware article only show about 30W difference.

However, from what I've read of the article, the new CPUs will pretty much shut down cores which aren't being used and lose an entire north-bridge chip that currently takes about 20W by itself.

Tests (0, Redundant)

zokier (1049754) | more than 5 years ago | (#29351005)

Lots and lots of tests and bechmarks. Looking good.

Intel 'Lynnfield' Core i5 750 and Core i7 870 Performance Testing Introduction :: TweakTown [tweaktown.com]
Intel Core i5 and Core i7: Lynnfield CPUs reviewed - Intel, Core i5, Core i-750, Core i7, Core i7-860, Core i7-870, Lynnfield, Bloomfield, AMD Phenom II X4 - PC Games Hardware [pcgameshardware.com]
Core i5 750 - Core i7 860 and 870 processor review [guru3d.com]
HEXUS.net - Review :: Intel Lynnfield Core i5 750, Core i7 860 and Core i7 870 CPU review: bombarding the mid-range : Page - 1/12 [hexus.net]
Legion Hardware [legionhardware.com]
Intel Core i5 750 & i7 870 Review - Page 1 - The Next Nehalem-based CPU lineup [neoseeker.com]
PC Perspective - Intel Lynnfield Core i7-870 and Core i5-750 Processor Review [pcper.com]
Introduction - Intel Lynnfield Core i5 and Core i7 Processors | [H]ard|OCP [hardocp.com]
In Theory: How Does Lynnfield's On-Die PCI Express Affect Gaming? : Introduction - Review Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]
AnandTech: Intel's Core i7 870 & i5 750, Lynnfield: Harder, Better, Faster Stronger [anandtech.com] [/QUOTE]
Intel Core i5 750 Core i7 870 Review - Overclockers Club [overclockersclub.com]
Techgage - Intel Core i7-870 & i5-750 - Nehalem for the Mainstream [techgage.com]
Core i5-750 and Core i7-870 Processors Review | Hardware Secrets [hardwaresecrets.com]
Intel Core i5 750 Processor Review - TechSpot News [techspot.com]
Intel Core i5 And Core i7: Intel?s Mainstream Magnum Opus : Introduction - Review Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]
Intel Lynnfield Core i5-750 & Core i7-870 Processor Review [hardwarecanucks.com]
Intel's Core i5-750 and Core i7-870 processors - The Tech Report - Page 1 [techreport.com]
bit-tech.net | Review - Intel Core i5 and Core i7 Lynnfield review [bit-tech.net]
bit-tech.net | Feature - Intel Lynnfield: Details and Architecture [bit-tech.net]
Intel Core i5, Core i7 800 Processors and P55 Express - HotHardware [hothardware.com]
Intel Core i5-750 Processor BX80605I5750 | Intel Core i5-750,BX80605I5750,Lynnfield,LGA1156,CPU,Proocessor, Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield LGA1156 CPU Benchmark Performance Test Processor Review | Benchmark Reviews Performance Tests [benchmarkreviews.com]
Intel Core i7 870/Core i5 750/P55 Express chipset Review :: Introduction :: Motherboards.org [motherboards.org]
Intel Core i5 750 CPU review [elitebastards.com]
Intel's Lynnfield Processor - LostCircuits [lostcircuits.com]
Intel Core i5 si Intel Core i7 Lynnfield in actiune | lab501 [lab501.ro]
Core i5, Core i7, CrossFire, And SLI: Gaming Paradise, Redux? : Introduction - Review Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com]
Intel's Core i7/Core i5 'Lynnfield' Processors [firingsquad.com]
Intel Core i5-750 , I7 870 and P55 - Introduction - DriverHeaven.net [driverheaven.net]
Second Advent of Nehalem: Core i7-870 and Core i5-750 Processors in LGA1156 Platform - X-bit labs [xbitlabs.com]
http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php?cID=1673 [bjorn3d.com]

CPU performance articles are quaint (1, Interesting)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352555)

While I hardly think 640K is enough for anyone, this story strikes me as an odd curiosity, certainly not something worthy of the Slashdot front page. In the age of netbooks, the iPhone, and notebook computing, does the ultimate pinnacle of performance even matter any more? Even with desktops, I just bought a $600 Dell that's so far beyond anything I can throw at it (with the usual exception of those few extraordinarily demanding GPU-bound games that need $400 video cards just to scrape by), that CPU performance is no longer on my radar. And it's not even an i7; it's the last revision of the Core 2 Duo.

Re:CPU performance articles are quaint (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352999)

That's why the comparison is performance per Watt, not performance, although good job posting before reading to the end of the headline. Performance per Watt is still very much relevant. Even if the chip is fast enough already, a new version that has the same performance in half the power means more battery life.

who cares if you're not talking server chips? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29352655)

Honestly, when you build a computer how many people are going? "Well this chip provides more performance per watt than that one, thus I'll buy it." All that matters to the person getting the pc 99% of the time is performance per dollar spent. In a datacenter power matters, at home.. not so much.

so? (2, Interesting)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#29352981)

Why compare 2 Intel products? Where's the comparison with AMD, or - in a perfect world - low-power, high-threads SPARC?

Intel == destructive monopoly, quit playing into their hands. Up next: Worthless comparisons of Vista and W7...

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