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Core i9 Engineering Sample Shows 6-Core Power

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 97 comments

Early Gulftown engineering sample previewed.

Polish computer site PCLab managed to secure an engineering sample of an Intel chip manufactured on the Westmere 32nm process, containing six-cores and 12MB of L3. Yes, it certainly looks like Gulftown – the codename for what likely will end up being marketed as Core i9.

Despite Gulftown not being officially supported yet the testers managed to get Gulftown to work on three boards: Gigabyte EX58-Extreme, ASUS Rampage II Gene and ASUS P6T SE, thanks to the chip using LGA 1366 socket. Of course, the BIOSes for the motherboards weren't optimized for Gulftown just yet, so there were some performance issues – particularly in the memory department.

Overall, test results showed that Gulftown performs as many would hope it would with an extra two Hyperthreaded cores. Multithreaded applications saw impressive gains thanks to the bump in 50 percent greater number of cores.

The early benchmarks show a very impressive chip from the Westmere family that we'll be seeing in 2010. Check out PCLab for the full preview.

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Top Comments
  • 21 Hide
    Anonymous , November 24, 2009 9:41 PM
    50% better performance in synthetics with 50% more cores isn't really impressive though.

    No doubt this is a great processor but it's unlikely it'll be worth the premium over i7. Indeed, it could be argued that the best feature of the i9 is that the i7 prices might drop. :) 
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    jerreece , November 24, 2009 8:50 PM
    That's just sick. LOL makes my brand new i5 seem tiny. ;)  Will be even more fun to see some solid gaming benchmarks once the final product hits review sites.
  • 8 Hide
    grillz9909 , November 24, 2009 8:51 PM
    Nice graphs
  • Display all 97 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    jerreece , November 24, 2009 8:52 PM
    BTW: The "Best Offers" ad box is covering up the second graph in my Firefox browser. Tried reloading the page, still can't view the second graph.
  • 1 Hide
    rsklingensmith , November 24, 2009 8:56 PM
    jerreeceBTW: The "Best Offers" ad box is covering up the second graph in my Firefox browser. Tried reloading the page, still can't view the second graph.

    I have the same problem with Chrome, happens whenever they have multiple graphs/charts in a news article.
  • 0 Hide
    JeanLuc , November 24, 2009 8:59 PM
    The graphs for me at stretching across the page (Firefox 3.5.5) is anyone else getting this problem?
  • 0 Hide
    greglouganis , November 24, 2009 8:59 PM
    Same here... plz
  • 5 Hide
    nonxcarbonx , November 24, 2009 9:00 PM
    AMD really needs to get a new processor out. Right now it isn't that bad, but I'm worried that there will come a point when Intel simply doesn't have any legitimate mainstream competition.
  • 4 Hide
    Marcus Yam , November 24, 2009 9:03 PM
    JeanLucThe graphs for me at stretching across the page (Firefox 3.5.5) is anyone else getting this problem?

    Sorry guys, should be all fixed now. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    kingnoobe , November 24, 2009 9:03 PM
    I was having the same problem till i went to the pclab page, and then hit the back bottom now it's all showing properly.
  • 1 Hide
    nforce4max , November 24, 2009 9:05 PM
    Finally some worth upgrading to.
  • 0 Hide
    eastcoaster , November 24, 2009 9:15 PM
    Use Ad block plus for firefox and everything looks fine. Can't wait to see some benchies!!
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 24, 2009 9:20 PM
    I wonder how these polish guys get their hands on the engineering sample!
    lots of $$$ perhaps?
  • 0 Hide
    jn77 , November 24, 2009 9:24 PM
    That is what I am looking for, one of those, 2 ATI 5790 x2's 6 or 12 displays... eyefinity at its best and 24 or 28gb of ram.... Windows 7 64bit...
  • 5 Hide
    wildwell , November 24, 2009 9:24 PM
    Oooh, lower power consumption and lower temps! I'm glad to see such an improvement in efficiency.
  • 0 Hide
    Manos , November 24, 2009 9:24 PM
    Scores double the i5. I would personally cry if I had recently bought an i5 and then see that graph :p . I know ill be getting me one of those babies once it out in the market. Dont feel like it will get outperform significantly any time soon after so will be a good time to upgrade again :) 
  • -6 Hide
    FoShizzleDizzle , November 24, 2009 9:27 PM
    The Phenom II X4 is the $140 2.8GHz version running against the $200+ Intel units. Talk about a well thought-out benchmark.
  • 2 Hide
    greenbuck , November 24, 2009 9:32 PM
    Sweet, faster with lower power consumption. I'm holding on upgrading my system. I'll wait for this baby to come out. I just hope it will not be too expensive.
  • 0 Hide
    christop , November 24, 2009 9:33 PM
    Has all research gone out the window on clock speeds? I was reading about some new material that could help with the heat dispersion.. Is this super future material I was reading about still in the works? Just wondering?
  • 2 Hide
    steiner666 , November 24, 2009 9:33 PM

    It's articles like this that remind me of why I have this page bookmarked.
  • 2 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , November 24, 2009 9:38 PM
    looking good, especially for a non bios optimized engineering sample. The Nehalem architecture seems to scale well from four to six cores, in many cases achieving a nearly 50% performance increase over the i7. I do a lot of video/3D rendering using programs like After Effects and Maya, and fortunately these applications (especially 3D rendering apps) really take advantage of having a processor with more cores/threads. I've been looking forward to its release for a while now, but unfortunately I've heard rumors that the i9 will only be available as an Extreme Edition to start... meaning outside my budget. the 32 nm LGA 1366 processors are looking to be a worthwhile investment for me though, so I might finally be able to put together that long awaited and much needed new system.
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