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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