Intel Clarkdale Core i5 Desktop Processor Debuts - HotHardware

Intel Clarkdale Core i5 Desktop Processor Debuts

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Just to be clear, Clarkdale is the codename used to describe Intel's new mainstream desktop processor offerings based on the Nehalem microarchitecture, but manufactured on Intel's cutting edge 32nm process node. Arrandale is the mobile equivalent--we've got complete coverage of Arrandale posted here.

  
Core i5 661 Processor

Like other Nehalem derivatives, Clarkdale features Intel Turbo Boost and HyperThreading technologies, in addition to hardware acceleration for AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and an on-chip graphics core.

As we've mentioned, the Clarkdale chips like the Core i5 661 we'll be looking at here will be produced using Intel's 32nm, 2nd Generation Hi-K process. The processors will feature two execution cores (dual-core), but with HyperThreading will be able to process up to 4 threads simultaneously. The processors will also feature up to 4MB of Intel Smart Cache, an Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) that support two-channels of DDR3 memory at officially supported speeds of up to 1333MHz, with integrated or discrete graphics support. We should note that when discreet graphics are used, the PCI Express lanes dedicated to the GPU may be arranged in either a 1x16 or 2x8 lane configuration, depending on the chipset being used--more on that later. Through new instructions, the Clarkdale-based processors also offer Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) acceleration, yet d the remain compatible with the LGA1156 Socket and 5-series chipset. Although a slew of new chipsets are being announced today as well.

There are few interesting things to note in regard to the integrated graphics core that will be used with Clarkdale and Arrandale. First, although the processors will be manufactured at 32nm, the graphics cores will be produced at 45nm. That means, of course, that the processors will feature multi-chip packages, and the CPU and GPU won't be merged on a single die. The IGP will be called the Intel HD Graphics core, and is derived from existing Intel graphics products. The new core, however, offers much improved performance and a number of new features, for Intel anyway. Mobile versions of the new IGP will also sport a Turbo mode of their own, that ratchets the clocks and voltage of the graphics core up or down, depending on the workload to conserve power or maximize performance. We have more details on the Intel HD Graphics core on the next page.

    
Core i5 661 CPU-Z Details

To get a glimpse of the Core i5 661's inner-workings, we fired up the latest version of CPU-Z and snapped a few images of the pertinent details.

The Core i5 661's default clock speed is 3.33GHz, but it clocks down to about 1.2GHz while idling to save power. The default clock speed is a result of its stock 25x multiplier and 133MHz base clock frequency (25 x 133MHz = 3.33GHz). With Turbo Mode enabled, however, the Core i5 661's frequency will peak at 3.6GHz. CPU-Z correctly reports that the Core i5 661 features 2 cores, but that the chip can process up to 4 threads, thank to Hyper-Threading technology.

The Cache configuration on the processors consists of 2 x 32K, 8-way associative L1 data caches, 2 x 32K, 4-way associative L1 instruction caches, 2 x 256K 8-way associative L2 caches, and 4MB of 16-way associative L3 caches--exactly half of what you'd find on a quad-core Nehalem derivative.

Overclocking The Core i5 661
Pedal To The Metal



Core i5 661 Overclocked to ~3.8GHz

We also set out to do a bit of overclocking with the new Core i5 661. We should point out that there are no "Extreme Edition" Core i5 processors, hence they are all multiplier locked for higher values and cannot be manually manipulated upwards to increase clock speeds. The only way to manually increase their frequencies is to increase the base clock speed, which by default runs at 133MHz.

To overclock the Core i5 661, we used the stock Intel cooler and an Asus P7H57D-V EVO motherboard. Tp begin, we first increased the processor's voltage to 1.38v and then increased the base clock frequency until our test system was no longer stable. Turbo mode was disabled to prevent any unwanted frequency spikes, but we left HyperThreading enabled. In the end, we came just shy of 3.8GHz, with a BCLK of 151MHz.

At that speed, the chip idled at around 39'C and peaked at about 68'C under load. We believe we were being held back, however, because any BCLK above 151MHz hung the system hard when Windows was loading. We'll be looking into this further, and will keep you appraised of the situation.

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     How are these on a heat dissipation scale. I know in general GPU's run hotter than CPU's when in use, in many cases considerably so especially when built on a 45nm or larger scale. The GPU on these chips are therefore (at the 45nm spectrum) considerably larger and use more power thereby producing this higher heat level. I also notice on these units they are quite close together leading to heat bleed inside a package, or at least I would fear. I also noticed you overclocked it which would lead to even more heat. In general heat is bad in a case like this component build I would think it to be quite high on anything over stock, and even at stock. I was thinking about this the other day while thinking about another issue. The first group who buys in many cases are the enthusiasts. The enthusiasts also generally want more for there money, and therefore in many cases will OC.  Therefore it would actually be in a companies interest to release unlocked high end components. Then a good amount of those who buy them will OC(overclock) them and the component lifespan would then be shortened. This would seem to be a varying point, but in any way across the board would occur to some point. The consumer who does this will also almost always turn around and buy a new on as well as components to go with it (MB,Ram,GPU etc), thereby feeding the market. So you look at the enthusiast market which is generally called a small sector of said hardware market, but if because of things such as this they buy double the amount of hardware in half the time of a normal user they purchase 4 times what a general user does. So is that market sector really small? Anyway with these thoughts regarding unlocked CPU's and or other components would such heat issues not least to a greater turnaround rate for the market in general or Intel at least with a component like this on a much broader spectrum and doubly (or 8 times if they already purchase at a 4 times greater frequency)  with the enthusiast market.

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This doesn't seem to be the solution if you're an Extreme Gamer kind of guy. I wouldn't consider it for such use anyway,....It's more like a mainstream setup and with proper cooling should do what they say it will over the life expectancy of the unit. A real high end CPU and the GPU of your choice is the way to go for OC'ing madness. I just can't see the merging of CPU and GPU as being groundbreaking in any way other than the technical aspects of actually doing such a thing.

I'm stuck on the Idea that they remain separate and be interchangeable separately.

Again, this would be the processor you buy for Mom's Pogo games and e-mail fun.

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yeah that's true I was just talking about the heat of this unit contained in such a small space. with both a cpu and gpu in one package it has to cut into the life span of such a component it would seem to me.

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Well, they run cool, so I wouldn't be concerned with the additional heat of the GPU affecting the lifespan.

Also keep in mind, it's not a single die. As long as a proper heatsink is used, heat will be dissipated without an issue.

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Embedded solutions will benefit from integration in the future.

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I wonder how the GPU is going to do. Seems like a strong CPU with a weak GPU. Good for office work, and grandma. I think AMD's fusion will be more balanced, and a better deal for most people that want to do more that use office and browse the web.

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giantjoebot:

I wonder how the GPU is going to do. Seems like a strong CPU with a weak GPU. Good for office work, and grandma. I think AMD's fusion will be more balanced, and a better deal for most people that want to do more that use office and browse the web.

I really agree with this. I don't think these are aimed at us at all. I think they are more for Dell and will help Intel keep that IGP market theirs.

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I doubt that this is really geared for the "High-End gamer".

This however, will really be step up from the more business related desktop machines. A lot of the Dell systems that I see at work host the "Intel(R) G33/G31 Express Chipset Family", and that is on the better, newer side of the the "fence". Some programs, require a bit more video to run properly and some clients don't want to see video card upgrades in their budget. Not for Office machines anyways. This solution will help alleviate some of these issues at hand.

Also you have to think of the "Lite Gamer" Intel integrated video won't run a whole lot, this will help them with some of their problems as well.

And last but not least, the whole HD everything kick. Blue-ray Dvd drives/burners are really becoming a more common place as their prices have been steadily dropping. This will be Intels "marketing-intro", if you will, to keep up with this technology as well.

I am of course referring to "Cookie Cutter systems" such as Dell, Hp, Acer, and the like.

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Considering the price and what you can get instead of one of these things, they really serve no purpose.  Lets take a $200 cpu and stick a crappy $5 gpu on chip.  Now lets sell it for $300!  These integrated i5's are not worth it in the slightest, more along the lines of an "Us First!" before AMD's Fusion comes out.

Now the i3's at $100~133 are a much better deal if you don't need anything past integrated graphics.

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