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Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More

Dan Snyder is a technical PR manager specializing in high end client products like Core i7 Extreme Edition and Intel SSDs. Dan began his career with Intel in an engineering role at one of the company’s largest fabrication and assembly factories in Arizona. In 1994, he moved into a Technical Marketing position in Santa Clara involving Intel’s processors for mobile computers. From 1996 to 1999 Dan drove worldwide marketing initiatives with OEMs and Retailers for the Pentium Processor family of products before moving to Europe for five years in technical marketing there. Dan holds an Engineering degree from Columbia University and an MBA from Stanford.

Dan from Intel here to talk about some of the goodies we just launched at Computex this week. In my 15 years at Intel–both as an engineer and now in tech PR–I am always blown away at the constant churn of the treadmill and how our factories consistently crank out faster and better products. Take the Core i7-975 Extreme CPU we just announced, for example. It is a screamer and it gets all the goodness of a new process “stepping” where continuous improvements and tweaks to the architecture are implemented, not to mention a little clock speed kicker.


Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition Overclocked to 4.1GHz

HotHardware's review shows how well it overclocks, and both the i7-975 and i7-950 come in at the exact same price as the parts they supplant. I am always racking my brain for other industries besides tech that offer nearly a doubling of performance every few years for roughly the same price. Heck, if that applied to the airline industry my recent vacation to France would have been a 10 minute, $10 flight.


Intel Westmere System In Action

While I have your attention, I know lots of the enthusiasts (that’s YOU guys) dig the Core i7’s performance, but are looking for lower cost high performance solutions. Well, we also discussed the “next Nehalem,” codenamed Lynnfield at Computex, to be released in the second half of this year. This will be paired with lower cost chipsets, meaning lower cost boards, which in turn means lower cost systems. Our executives also reiterated that our next-gen 32nm CPU “Clarkdale” product is on track for production in Q4 of this year. We have also publicly demonstrated our 32nm processor family, codenamed “Westmere” which is slated for production in Q4 of this year. These processors will offer our first 32nm process implementation (meaning faster, smaller, more efficient) and graphics integrated on the processor package. Stay tuned for more info at IDF this fall. Lots of good news and things for you guys to look forward to in CPU land this year.

We'd also love to know what’s on your mind and if you have any questions for Intel... Can’t guarantee I can answer everything, we do need to keep a few secrets, hehe...but we'll do what we can!


Posted Tue, Jun 16 2009 9:22 PM by oem.access

Comments

tanka12345 wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Thu, Jun 18 2009 1:01 AM

Hi Dan,

I recently adopted Core i7 and the X58 Chipset which was my first upgrade in 5 years (from the trusty old P4 :P), but I'm wondering why Intel is making Socket 1366 and the X58 chipset obsolete after such a short period of existence. I honestly believe that Socket 1366 (and X58) will always be for the enthusiasts when compared to Socket 1156 and the P55 chipset respectively. Why is Intel discontinuing the Core i7 line in favor of Core i5? I know it may be due to the relatively high pricing of Core i5 CPUs when compared to the Core i7 models available, but surely the adopters of Core i7 want the possibility of upgrading to a better CPU in the long run. I for one was not part of the "LGA775" generation having been on 478 for so long, but Socket 775 lasted for many, many, many, many years so why can't 1366 do the same? Will there be the possibility of future CPU upgrades for Core i7 users? (Like 32nm models in the future)

Next, I want to ask, why is Intel going with their "onboard" graphics solution bound to the CPU? I can understand that OEM PC's or less "intensive" users could benefit having IGP onboard, but enthusiasts will ALWAYs have a dedicated Video card or even multiple cards or dual GPU cards. Also, wouldn't it be possible to pack a processor with more cores if we used the extra space on the die which would be allocated to the graphics? (I'm not really sure how engineering a CPU is done so I could be wrong). And lastly, the IGP onboard would most likely contribute to higher CPU temps overall limiting Overclockability somewhat, and even if the 32nm process did counter-attack the heat problem a bit, the temps wouldn't be as low as they could be (without IGP on the die).

Sorry if I seem like I'm Intel-Bashing but I don't quite get the reasoning behind these two decisions. Maybe you could enlighten me Dan =)  (....and send out a 975 :P)

Thanks,

Tank

peter0328 wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Thu, Jun 18 2009 1:51 AM

@tanka12345,

The Core i7 X58 chipset is not being discontinued.  The new i5 is like a Core 2 series replacement.  The i5 is made for the mainstream marketplace.  The i7 is for the enthusiast marketplace.  Intel will be coming out with new i7 chips built on the X58 platform around Q1 2010 that use 6 cores and have 12 threads.  These new chips are codenamed Gulftown and are based on the 32nm fabrication process.

The i7 chips will not have integrated graphics like the i5s because no enthusiast wants or needs integrated graphics.

@Dan,

Can you shed some light on why the i7 940/950 and 965/975 cost so much more than the 920?  How is the tiny increase in speed worth a $278 and $715?  All of the chips can be overclocked to almost the exact same speeds, the only difference being the 975/965 have unlocked multipliers to make overclocking easier.  I know that you charge more because using "binning" you decide that certain processors have higher thresholds than other ones, but the difference cannot be great to warrant such massive price differences.

BTW, I love the i7 chip.  I have a 940 which is currently the heart of my system:

NZXT Khaos

i7 940 OCed to 4GHz

Asetek LCLC kit

Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P

12GB 1600MHz Corsair Dominator DDR3

Quad SLI with 2 xEVGA GTX 295s

4TB HDD internal

The i7 just tears through video editing and encoding and gaming!

P.S. Got any news about new Intel SSDs or TRIM support for the X25-M? :)

tanka12345 wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Thu, Jun 18 2009 2:58 AM

Firstly Welcome to HH Peter, and thanks for clearing that up (I still hope Dan can post his views on my questions).

Now I've got another question after reading this recently posted HH article: hothardware.com/.../Intel-Expanding-Core-Branding-Killing-Centrino

Is the "CoreX" branding supposed to create the same effect as the MHz Controversy?

The CoreX branding system misleads people (in my opinion) who don't know anything (or much) about computers so it will create a lot  of confusion. For example when I was telling my friend about Core i7, (he doesn't know that much about comps), he immediately assumed that Core i7 CPUs had 7 cores which is obviously incorrect. So respectively Core i5 would mean 5 and Core i3 would mean 3 when current Intel CPUs are generally dual or quad core. This can create the illusion of a faster processor like in the "MHz controversy" where a higher clock speed meant a better performing processor which is not the case. And in this scenario where most know of the so called MHz Myth, new branding suggesting "X" number of cores can create the exact same effect using the number of cores instead the clock speed. Why not Core i4 or Core i2?

Again, sorry if I seem like I'm Intel-Bashing but I don't quite get the reasoning behind the CoreX branding and re-branding decision.

I probably have many more questions lined up-I just have to think of them first! Thanks for the opportunity Dan and HH.

Tank

oem.access wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Fri, Jun 19 2009 4:54 PM

Response From Intel's Dan Snyder...

@tanka12345, good for you taking the plunge on i7, it’s a screamer!  I don’t look at asking questions as “bashing” at all.  Now if you didn’t ask questions and made bashing statements alone with no backup, that’s another story, haha!  Peter is right, we haven’t discontinued i7 at all.  In fact, we have publicly stated that out 2010 high end 6-core Gulftown processor will run on exactly that—X58 chipset Socket 1366.  So i7 and X58 is around for a while.  Where were you hearing we had discontinued i7?

With regard to your graphics question—keep in mind that we will have many flavors of CPUs—with and without graphics – so there will be tons of options for consumers to go either way.  And as has always been the case, people with integrated graphics who want higher end graphics solutions can add in a gfx card if they have an available slot.  A small yet important nuance—we have publicly stated that our first processors with graphics will be in one package but will be separate die inside that package.  This helps decouple some of the dependencies that gfx integrated into the CPU die would have.  So, in theory, we could have different gfx capabilities on that separate die and different CPU configs on the CPU die—all in one package.

As for your branding question, we have brand marketeers far more versed in this than I am but I’ll take a stab.  I know for sure they are making big steps to simplify things and from internal presentations I have seen the brand and logo soup will get lots better.  Education will be needed for sure—but I think any company with multiple branded products faces the same challenge.  Does a 7 series BMW have seven engines?  A Boeing 747 have 747 seats?  Our brand team has done years of research and study, undoubtedly talking to people like your friend, and they really feel like the new brand structure will help in the end.  Also remember we have our new “stars” rating system so consumers like your friend can compare CPU capabilities in retail.

@Peter0328, glad you are enjoying the 940.  You guys are both ahead of me and my home system now, no fair!  Yep, pricing can seem to be a mystery to many of us here too, haha, but after 15 years here I think it kinda goes like this.  Basically pricing is this complex calculus of product features, positioning, availability and marketing objectives. We could sell tons more Extreme Editions at a lower price of course, but it is our prestige brand with all the bells and whistles and fully unlocked, so it is a marketing and branding decision to have it where it is. One thing I know for sure, we offer more performance at the same price year after year, that’s what’s so great about the tech industry.  Like I say above, sure woulda been nice to have a Moore’s Law of price performance for my last flight to Europe!

peter0328 wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Fri, Jun 19 2009 6:21 PM

@oem.access

Thanks for your answers!  I definitely think this new part of HH is a great addition.  It definitely is great for us consumers who like to know lots of info about what they own! lol.

tanka12345 wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Sat, Jun 20 2009 1:36 AM

Thanks for the answers Dan, I'm sure I'll come up with more questions if you're still around here!

The i7 is a FAST screamer! It's amazing how speedy it is compared to Pentium 4. I really hope I'll have enough money to upgrade to Gulftown depending on the performance improvement. What do you think the price range of the Gulftown CPU's would be?

I heard that the Core i7 920 was being discontinued (mainly because the highest Core i5 Model was in a similar performance range as the 920, but at a higher price). Is the new "stars" system like a star rating on the retail box? (I've never heard of it)

Thanks HH and Intel and Dan for the first serving of OEM.Access! I really hope we can have Intel and many more companies here :)

Marco C wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Sat, Jun 20 2009 11:32 AM

That's the plan, Tanka!  We're going to try to get all of the major players to participate.

oem.access wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Mon, Jun 22 2009 1:15 PM

@Tanka – Ahhhh, now I see what you were meaning on the discontinuance stuff.  We have actually stated that the 920 will go through our normal “End of Life” (EOL) process (as do all CPUs eventually), but that doesn’t mean we are discontinuing all i7.  Also, keep in mind that our EOL process is a very thought-out and long term process—it isn’t like every part in the world disappears the next day.  We actually keep some around a long time for customers that have set-in-stone system specs for major contracts, for testing and backwards compatibility studies, etc.

The stars rating system is being used in retail at the point of purchase to help consumers compare CPUs between systems.

tanka12345 wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Wed, Jun 24 2009 5:06 AM

Hey Dan,

Guess what I saw? :P

I recently read that Gulftown is now going to be called "Core i9".  More CoreX branding I see. I still don't understand why you can't call Gulftown Core i7, but Core i9 does sound flashier which = More sales which is better for Intel. Maybe we could come up with a Formula of CoreX to Y number of cores and predict the future number of cores in Intel CPUs! I'll even start the table off for you :P

Core "iX"  Name       No. of Cores

X                                  Y

1                                  (Unknown, presumably 1)            

2                                  (TBA)

3                                  2

4                                  (TBA)

5                                  4

6                                 (TBA)

7                                  4

8                                 (TBA)

9                                  6

I'll leave you to fill in the rest :P

Tank

squarebab wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Sat, Jul 25 2009 6:10 PM

Nice try Dan, but your branding examples come up short. Boeing and BMW do not use any component terms before their numeration.  Boeing doesn't call their plane the Boeing Chair 747, nor does BMW call their car the BMW Engine 7 Series.  Intel's branding is misleading and confusing to some people because their initial Core brand offerings clearly denotes the number of CPUs in their name (Core Duo and Core 2 Duo, and Core 2 Quad) and this has led to the assumption that Intel's Core i7 would represent the same.  I agree with Tanka's inference that Intel could have done a better job with branding their product.

DIDI GARABEDIAN wrote re: Intel Talks Core i7 975 Extreme, Computex, Westmere and More
on Sat, Sep 5 2009 6:50 PM

I AM THINKING OF GETTING RID OF MY AMD PHENOM 9600 FOR THE NEW INTEL CORE I9 LGA 1366 SOCKET B MOTHERBOARD FROM EVGA AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IS IT GOING TO BE BETTER THAN THE INTEL COR I7 975 EXTREME EDITION OR SHOULD WE WAIT FOR NEWER VERSIONS OF INTEL CORE I7 LIKE LYNNFIELD EXTREM SERIES THANKS A LOT....