Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Intel 6 cores 'Gulftown'

Just imagine having 6 physical cores in a CPU at 32nm. What do you get? Lots of transistors, right? Yes, Intel is coming up with their 6 cores (12 threads) 32nm CPU late this year on socket LGA 1366. What does it mean then? More power and more money to be spent? Absolutely true.

The fact is that Gulftown cpu is actually a Core i7 based CPU but it is running on 32nm instead of the 45nm as we know. Presently, we have the i7 940 and 965. Later this year, we will have 6 cores running at HT! Bear in mind that at 32nm, the transistors are really really tiny. The question is whether it is worth the money in getting such a high end CPU for yourself? You do get 12MB of L3 cache though with the new cpu.

I think at this moment, a normal person might not want to upgrade their cpu if they are still running on the Intel Q6600 because there is still much life coming out from the good old 65nm CPU. It is actually my favourite CPU and it is still my favourite CPU. Look at the price of the Q6600. It is still selling at £150+. That is pretty decent. You have to understand that with the Q6600, you get 8MB of L2 cache at a clock speed of 2.4Ghz. Not too bad, isn't it? If you want, you can get the Q9550 instead which will give you 12MB of L2 cache. I don't really recommend people to get the Core i7 upgrade if they are using an existing quadcore cpu. It is just a waste of money.

I have bechmark one of my friend's pc using pcpitstop. His rig is powered by an AMD 940 BE cpu on a MSI Platinum mobo. It come with an onboard ATI HD 3330 graphics card. Well, running his rig through pcpitstop came out a decent result = 5530. His rig's specification is as follows: 2GB of DDR2 Kingston memory and 500GB HDD. My rig came out at 8830 through pc pitstop. Why? First of all, it is powered by an Intel Q6600 with 8GB quad channel GEIL DDR2 memory; Nvidia 9800GTX+ graphics card and a 500GB HDD. It makes a lot of difference when you have more memory and a decent graphics card. No doubt that my rig will consume more power than his but I do get better performance compared to his. That is the difference.

Now, coming back to the question. Do you really need the Gulftown based CPU? Stick to the i7 940 if you really need to upgrade. Good luck...

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