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Intel Core i7 CPU & DX58SO X58 Platform E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors
Written by Miles Cheatham - Edited by Olin Coles   
Monday, 03 November 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
Intel Core i7 CPU & DX58SO X58 Platform
Intel Core i7: Platform Information
Nehalem Architecture
Intel DX58SO Motherboard
DX58SO 'Smackover' Features
Testing Methodology
3DMark System Tests
SANDRA 2009 System Tests
EVEREST Ultimate System Tests
POV Ray, SuperPi and WinRar Tests
Crysis and World in Conflict Tests
Intel Core i7 Final Thoughts

Nehalem Architecture

With more powerful processors, a potential bottleneck can form anytime a processor or its individual cores can't fetch instructions and data as fast as they're being executed. Whenever this happens, performance slows. Of particular importance to the performance of a system is the speed at which a microprocessor and its execution cores can access system memory (in addition to internal cache). In multi-processor systems, not only is the actual access to data important, but also the multi-processor communication required to ensure memory coherency (also called snoop traffic).

For years Intel kept instructions and data flowing quickly to the processor through an external bi-directional data bus called a front-side bus (FSB). This bus performed as a backbone between the processor cores and a chipset that contained the memory controller hub and served as the connection point for all other buses (PCI, AGP, etc.) in the system. In turn, this has delivered industry-leading processor performance on the Intel Core micro architecture family of processors.

In its long-range planning, Intel has long anticipated that the development of a high-performance, dynamically, and design-scalable micro architecture like next generation Intel micro architecture (Nehalem) would lead to moving beyond FSBs to a new system architecture. The result was the development of Intel QuickPath Architecture, a new system architecture that integrates a memory controller into each microprocessor, dedicates specific areas of system memory to each processor, and connects processors and other components with a new high-speed interconnect. Previously referenced under the code name Common System Interface or CSI, Intel QuickPath Interconnect unleashes the performance of next generation micro architecture-based processors and future generations of Intel multi-core processors.

Intel QuickPath Architecture is a platform architecture that provides high-speed connections between microprocessors and external memory, and between microprocessors and the I/O hub. One of its biggest changes is the implementation of scalable shared memory. Instead of using a single shared pool of memory connected to all the processors in a server or high-end workstation through FSBs and memory controller hubs, each processor has its own dedicated memory that it accesses directly through an Integrated Memory Controller on the processor die. (For dual-core desktop and mobile processors, the memory controller will be implemented in the processor package.) In cases where a processor needs to access the dedicated memory of another processor, it can do so through a high-speed Intel QuickPath Interconnect that links all the processors.

An advantage of Intel QuickPath Interconnect is that it is point-to-point. There is no single bus that all the processors must use and contend with each other to reach memory and I/O. This improves scalability and eliminates the competition between processors for bus bandwidth.

Intel Core i7 CPU Socket 1366 Processor and Intel DX58SO Smackover Extreme Edition X58 Motherboard Platform Performance Benchmark Test Comparison Review

Features & Specifications

Intel Core i7 Processor Series
Features & Specifications
Intel Core i7-965
Extreme Edition
Intel Core i7-940 Intel Core i7-920
Clock Speed (GHz) 3.20 2.93 2.66
QPI Speed (GT/sec) 6.4 4.8 4.8
Socket 1366-pin LGA
Cache 8 Megabytes
Memory Speed Support DDR3-1066
TDP 130 Watts
Overspeed Protection Removed Yes No No
Processor Architecture New Intel Core micro architecture (Nehalem) 45nm
Key Platform Features
  • Intel Hyper-Threading Technology delivers 8-threaded performance on 4 cores
  • Intel Turbo Boost Technology
  • 8M Intel Smart Cache
  • Integrated Memory Controller with support for 3 channels of DDR3 1066 memory
  • Intel QuickPath interconnect to Intel X58 Express Chipset



# Retired computer builderCarl Stough 2010-07-01 15:04
This i7 is the most remarkable cpu I have had in my 30 plus year in computer building. It is very fast and seams to be flawles with many applications open at one time.
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