Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Review of Intel Core i7

Tom's Hardware did an extensive review of Intel's newest chip, the Core i7. In summary... fast and power hungry.

Just as Intel’s Core 2 has firmly established itself in the market, it is already being replaced by a completely new architecture. Unlike the switch from the Pentium 4 / Pentium D to the Core2—where the new CPUs worked as drop-in replacements on existing boards due to the fact that the processors were pin-compatible—Intel’s newest chip requires a completely new "ecosystem." But this transformation represents nothing less than a milestone for Intel.

Here’s the short version. Intel is introducing the Core i7, the successor to the Core 2 processor, which features both improved performance and higher efficiency. In our benchmark suite, the Core i7 is 16% faster clock-for-clock than the Core 2. Although all standard models are equipped with an overclocking lock, most motherboards will give enthusiasts the means to circumvent this mechanism, which Intel claims is in place to protect notebooks, servers, and other environment highly sensitive to heat. Since Intel is re-introducing Hyper-Threading to its desktop CPUs in the Core i7 line, the new processors show a marked performance boost in many modern multi-threaded applications. However, the Nehalem platform will not offer improvements where power consumption is concerned.

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