Intel Nehalem Processor and SSD Sneak Peek

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News Posted: Wed, Jul 9 2008 4:02 PM

Intel was showing off some of their next-gen hardware today at a posh NYC hotel on the east side of Manhattan.  There aren't many specifics we can talk about just yet, but we were allowed to snap off a few pictures of a system that we're sure many of you are eager to check out.  What you see pictured here is a complete Nehalem-based rig, built around an Intel X58 chipset motherboard.  Unfortunately, we can't disclose any benchmark scores or frequencies, nonetheless, there is still some interesting stuff to see here.

    
Intel's Nehalem Demo System


First off, how about that case?  The Nehalem demo machine was assembled in an Origen AE S21T HTPC enclosure, complete with a 12.1" touch screen with a native resolution of 1280x800.  The screen is mounted on a motorized panel that slides down to reveal the optical drive and card reader beneath.   Being displayed on that screen was a partial task manager window showing CPU utilization across the Nehalem processor's four cores.  You see eight bars there, however, because Nehalem has new Hyper-Threading functionality built in.

The Nehalem processor installed in the board was adorned with a large, Thermalright air cooler. And although the CPU was significantly overclocked, the heatsink was essentially cold to the touch.  I actually held the heatpipes for a few seconds after watching a video encoding demo that pegged all four cores at 100% and they weren't any warmer than room temperature.  If you look a little deeper into the system, you can also see three DDR3 DIMMs installed in the X58 chipset-based motherboard.  Because Nehalem has a built-in triple-channel memory controller, maximum bandwidth is achieved when three sticks of memory are installed.  And in case you're wondering, yes, an on-die memory controller with three channels of DDR3 memory does offer significantly more peak bandwidth than anything else currently available on the desktop.  We should also note, that because the X58 chipset itself doesn't have a memory controller built-into the Northbridge, the chipset's power consumption should be markedly lower than current enthusiast-class offerings.

    
Triple-Channel DDR3 & Dual SSDs


Also in the system were a pair of 80GB Intel-built solid state drives running in a RAID 0 configuration. After seeing these drives in action and talking with representatives from Intel, we now know why Intel is excited to bring these drives to market.  The combination of an Intel designed SATA II controller with high speed flash has resulted in a wicked-fast SSD.  Unfortunately, again, we were asked not to disclose benchmark scores, but we can say the sustained transfer speeds were significantly higher than anything else we have seen to date.

To demonstrate what was possible with massive amounts of memory bandwidth and processing horsepower, and an ultra fast storage sub-system, Intel showed off an application that cataloged 16GB of digital photos and sorted them based on the date and geographical information.  A custom touch-screen was assembled (see the PCBs and sensors around the edges of the LCD?) to demonstrate how quick is was to jump to, sort, and manipulate such a large amount of digital information.

We should have more information regarding Nehalem and Intel's SSD during IDF in the third week of August, so stay tuned.

 

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bigger pics please...i cant examine the ssytwem.

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Marco C replied on Wed, Jul 9 2008 5:07 PM
They're clickable on the news page:

http://www.hothardware.com/News/Intel_Nehalem_Processor_and_SSD_Sneak_Peek/

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AjayD replied on Wed, Jul 9 2008 8:49 PM
Quite the little teaser this is. I wasn't aware that Intel was working on SSDs. I can't wait for IDF to roll around, so I can find out more about Nehalem and the other exciting goodies on the horizon.

 

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I clicked on the PICS in the news page...Intel needs to hire a cable-management guy!

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Is that a dual fan heatsink keeping that thing cool?

 

 

 

 

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Lev_Astov replied on Thu, Jul 10 2008 6:58 AM
Wow, very very cool. I can't wait to hear more about this, especially those SSDs. Oh, and I really love that case.

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Lev_Astov:
and I really love that case
 

Ditto.

 

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who replied on Thu, Jul 10 2008 3:48 PM

hehehe :) sorry, I travel in many cities, I have to build and rebuild the PC many time. Francois

 

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who replied on Thu, Jul 10 2008 4:00 PM
This is just the Fan of the chassie and the fan of the Thermalright 120.

Francois/who?

 

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jul 10 2008 11:03 PM
sweet it will be nice to get more info on the ssd the nehalems and the X58 mb
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jtm55 replied on Sat, Jul 12 2008 9:02 AM

Hi All

That Case is Awesome!

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replied on Mon, Jul 14 2008 8:54 PM
I know for sure that Intel's x58 will have an SLI capable variant. The choice is up to the OEM though. Because Nvidia got their QPI license and I know in order for that to of happened intel had to get sli license.

I would like to know though can you give me a percentage on how much faster this system will be.. even if its a ballpark number compared to their core 2 counterpart ? Since you saw it in action you have to have an idea percentage wise without giving actual numbers.
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shanewu replied on Tue, Jul 15 2008 9:46 AM
That case is crazy...and it's ~$1000!!!! I'd love to check out some of the Origen cases...that company is always innovating in the HTPC case market.

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Marco C replied on Wed, Jul 16 2008 10:50 AM
I was asked specifically to not disclose any benchmark scores. I can say memory bandwidth increases were huge (think multiples, versus percentage increases over today's hardware). As for processing performance, there will be IPC enhancements, a serial interface, an on-die memory controller, and higher clocks. Imagine the jump from Conroe to Penryn, plus some extras thrown in.

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Penquin replied on Sun, Aug 3 2008 5:29 PM

Haha, Me either i wasnt aware intel looked into producing SSD

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