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Intel Upgrades Hardware

Intel Lynnfield CPU Bests Nehalem In Performance/Watt 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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Intel Lynnfield CPU Bests Nehalem In Performance/Watt

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  • arm (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:14AM (#29350053)

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

  • Lack of focus (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <> on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:20AM (#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.

  • by Lemming Mark ( 849014 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:25AM (#29350177) Homepage

    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...

  • AES benchmarks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by a09bdb811a ( 1453409 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:27AM (#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.

  • by aaaaaaargh! ( 1150173 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:33AM (#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:AES benchmarks (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:51AM (#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.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:54AM (#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:arm (Score:1, Interesting)

    by FlyingBishop ( 1293238 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @09:54AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:15AM (#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.

  • Fishy numbers? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by NameIsDavid ( 945872 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:24AM (#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:Lack of focus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:29AM (#29350953) Journal

    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).

  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:41AM (#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.

  • by pohl ( 872 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @10:47AM (#29351249) Homepage
    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.
  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:11PM (#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.
  • so? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toby ( 759 ) * on Tuesday September 08, 2009 @12:41PM (#29352981) Homepage Journal

    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...

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp