Intel i7 hits the streets

Derrick

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Finally there is a new Intel chip on the market to make the processing freaks happy! The new Intel i7 series of chips hits computer retailers nationwide today with three variants available. All three are quad core processors.
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Representing the largest architectural change in the Intel x86 family since the Pentium Pro back in 1995, the Nehalem Micro-architecture used in the i7 series offers a bunch of new features. Here are some of the significant changes from the Core 2:
FSB is replaced by QuickPath interface. Motherboards must use a chipset that supports QuickPath.

On-processor memory controller: the memory is directly connected to the processor.
Three channel memory: each channel can support one or two DDR3 DIMMs. Motherboards for Core i7 have four (3+1) or six DIMM slots instead of two or four, and DIMMs should be installed in sets of three, not two.

Support for DDR3 only.

“Turbo Boost” technology allows the cores to intelligently clock themselves to 133MHz or 266MHz over the design clock speed so long as the CPU’s thermal requirements are still met. This mode isn’t enabled when the CPU is manually over-clocked by the user.
Single-die device: all four cores, the memory controller, and all cache are on a single die.

Re-implemented Hyper-threading. Each of the four cores can process two threads simultaneously, so the processor appears to the OS as eight CPUs. This feature was present in the older Netburst architecture but was dropped in Core.

On-die, shared, inclusive 8MB L3 cache.

Only one QuickPath interface: not intended for multi-processor motherboards.
45nm process technology.

731M transistors.

Sophisticated power management can place an unused core in a zero-power mode.
There are some notable drawbacks to the i7 series in that the motherboards currently available for it won’t support ECC memory. If ECC is important to the computing application, for the moment these processors will not be suitable for your use.

The other drawback is that the required DDR3 memory is still more expensive than DDR2 memory.

The three models available are the 920, 940 and the 965 Extreme Edition. They can retail around R4600, R8800 and R15600 respectively.

** Source used: Wikipedia
 
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