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Arrandale PCIe vs Clarkdale

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March 11, 2010 7:31:50 PM

Hello,

I am looking at the specs for Arrandale PCIe controller and the only difference I see from the various sources is that the 16 lanes cannot be split into 2x8. (That would prevent an SLI configuration, right?)

Are there any others? It is not slower than Clarkdale if used in single-card configurations - is that right? Thinking about buying an Arrandale-based laptop at some point, but would like to add discrete gfx too...

Thanks!
March 11, 2010 9:05:05 PM

Arrendale is indeed 16 and not 8 X2. So yes, that means you wouldn't be able to do SLI or Crossfire configurations.

FYI, the mobile (laptop) CPUs are Arrendale and Clarksfield.
Clarkdale is for desktop computers.

Clarksfield does allow 8 lanes X2

If you use a single graphics card configuration the speed difference will not be significant or even noticable from the 8 lanes to the 16 lanes.

HOWEVER! The CPU itself may make a difference in proformance of games or whatever graphics app you are running.

The Clarksfield is considered an extreme mobile CPU and will likely allow for better performance (Clarksfield is also quad core not dual core)

If you want discrete graphics in a laptop buy when you buy the laptop. (later is not really an option most of the time) There is no universal design that fits all laptops so if you bought a laptop without it built in you would need to.
1. Make sure the laptop can take a video card upgrade.
2. See what video cards are available for that laptop many times you will find there is only 1 or 2 options.
3. You will either need to install it yourself or pay someone to install it for you. personally I can install it myself but I'm a certified computer technician I don't reccomend messing with a laptop for the average joe.
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March 16, 2010 9:44:28 PM

Thanks for the response. Sounds like Clarksfield is a better bet for high performance, but quad-core will eat up more power, I am sure. Getting back to Arrandale, I found the thing that was bugging me - it's just a short mention in this article http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mobile-core-i7,2443...

It says the following:
"On top of the on-package graphics, Intel says it is enabling support for discrete graphics via Arrandale’s integrated PCIe 2.0 controller. What’s most interesting about this claim, however, is that add-on GPUs will be limited to first-gen transfer rates (it’s not clear whether this is due to lower signaling speeds or a narrower PCIe bus)."

I actually wonder if this will have significant impact on discrete graphics performance for Arrandale laptops and why this hasn't been discussed in more depth. Any thoughts?
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a c 127 à CPUs
March 17, 2010 4:54:46 AM

The limiting of a GPU in a laptop to first gen transfer rates (PCIe 1.1 x16) isn't discussed because the performance hit is minimal. And I mean 3% tops.

PCIe 1.1 performs on par with PCIe 2.0. But later, when GPUs can use it PCIe 2.0 will make a difference but we will have PCIe 3.0 by then.
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March 17, 2010 1:10:14 PM

Best answer selected by npiankov.
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