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Intel Core i7 970 Gulftown On Linux

Oct 27, 2010, 23:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"Intel will be introducing their first Sandy Bridge CPUs in the coming months, which we already know has Linux graphics support well underway, but for now the top-end Intel desktop processors are the Gulftown CPUs that were introduced earlier this year. The Gulftown CPUs boast six physical processing cores with Hyper Threading to put the total thread count per CPU at 12. Besides putting 12 processing threads at your disposal, these CPUs are built upon the 32nm die shrink of Nehalem and boast 12MB of L3 cache. The first Gulftown desktop product to launch was the Intel Core i7 980X, which was quickly followed by the Core i7 970, and we now finally have the chance to test out this incredibly fast but expensive processor under Linux.

"The Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition is a $1000 USD processor that is clocked at 3.33GHz and has a maximum turbo frequency of 3.60GHz. The clock speeds are the primary difference between the Core i7 980X and Core i7 970, with the latter arriving clocked at 3.2GHz and a turbo frequency of 3.46GHz, but is priced over $100 USD less than the Extreme Edition part. The QPI speed is also at 4.8 GT/s for the i7-970 and 6.4 GT/s for the i7-980X. The Gulftown desktop processors utilize Intel's QPI (QuickPath Interconnect) interface, offer 256KB of L2 cache per physical core, have a TDP rating of 130 Watts, utilize the LGA-1366 socket, support through SSE 4.2, and again they have 12MB of L3 cache and are built on a 32nm process. The only other processor coming close to these CPUs right now would be the Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition, which also breaches the $1000 price barrier, but is based upon the older Bloomfield architecture while being a 3.33GHz quad-core + Hyper Threading 45nm CPU. Falling below the Core i7 970 is the Core i7 960, which is another Bloomfield part and will set you back at just over $500 USD for a 3.2GHz processor."

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