Core i7-980X aka Core i9: First CPU said to be 6-core Gulftown - Update: New details leaked
Intel has just revealed the new Core name pattern but now there are rumors about possible CPUs of the Core i7-980X aka Core i9 series. The 32 nm 6-core Gulftown is said to be an appropriate candidate.
PC Games Hardware had access to a engineering sample of a Gulftown processor. See our hands-on test of the six-core CPU for application and game benchmarks.
Some days ago Intel put an end to the rumors and officially introduced the Core i3 and Core i5 pattern. But now new rumors say that Intel's 6-core CPU Gulftown will be traded under the name Core i9. The current Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors will be the Core i3 family.
Gulftown is said to go hit the retail markets by the name Core i9 and represents the upper end of the performance array. The 6-core CPU is said to get all the features of Bloomfield, HT for 12 cores and a 50 percent bigger level 2 cache - all in all 12 MiByte. The Gulftown or Core i9 are said to be compatible to the socket LGA 1366 and X58 motherboards and first models are expected in Q1 2010. For more information about Gulftown see Intel introduces 32 nm CPU - More details on the Nehalem successor.
Update: July 24, 2009
Now Fudzilla wants to have learned from Intel partners that the 6-core processor Gulftown, which is expected for early 2010, will be the first Core i9 processor. It is said that the processor will have a 32 nanometer architecture as well as the full feature set including SMT and Turbo Mode. The current X58 chipset with the LGA 1366 is supposed to be used as a chassis for the Gulftown. As already mentioned the processor will have six physical cores and thus twelve logical cores (SMT) and the L3 cache will be increased by 50 percent in comparison to the Core i7 Bloomfield. An integrated graphics unit is not included at first says the report.
This set of information matches with the details available already. Therefore it is expected that the official specification won't differ much when Intel releases them.
Update: July 31, 2009
Two Xeon W5590 processors have been tested by "JCornell” with the multi threaded benchmark Wprime v2.00. Due to SMT the system with its two 6-core CPUs had 24 virtual cores. The engineering samples were running at 2.4 GHz and delivered benchmark results which a common Core i7 would only if clocked to noticeably higher frequencies. The 32M test has been finished in6.177 seconds and the 1024M test was done after 145.688 seconds.
For comparison: A Core i7 with eight virtual cores usually has to run at 4 GHz (32M) or 5 GHz (1024M) to reach similar results. "JCornell” posted the benchmark results at the Coolaler Forum.
Update: August 11, 2009
It seems like the first official specifications of the Gulftown have been leaked. At least the published presentation sheet looks like NDA information given to Intel's partners. According to the delivered information the Gulftown is produced in a 32 nanometer architecture and thus matches, like the dual-core CPU Clarkdale, Intel's downsized Westmere architecture. The processor is, like the Bloomfield CPUs, intended for the socket LGA 1366 and thus requires a motherboard with an X58 chipset.
Six cores that, due to SMT, can work on twelve threads are said to reach a TDP of 130 watt. Like current Bloomfield processors the Gulftown will have an internal Triple channel controller that is specified up to DDR3-1066. Clarkdale and Lynnfield can access DDR3-1333, but have a Dual Channel controller only. The new processors which are rumored to be marketed as Core i9, will also support Intel's Turbo Boost in order to accelerate applications that are not multi threaded.
Unfortunately the 6-core Gulftown will only be available as Extreme Edition at first, says the report at donanimhaber.com. As already mentioned the new processor is supposed to become the first Core i9. Up to now there is no detailed information about clock speeds or the final names, but the market introduction is expected for Q2 2010.
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