Intel Unveils New 45nm CPUs at CES

This morning at CES in Las Vegas Intel announced a slew of new CPUs at CES. The following chart shows the basics on all 16 of them.

Chart courtesy of and copyright 2008 by Intel. Click on the chart to see a larger version.

As usual, processors with the "T" prefix indicate a mobile dual-core CPU, the "E" prefix indicates a desktop dual-core CPU, and the "Q" prefix indicates a desktop quad-core CPU. The "X" prefix can mean either a Xeon server processor or an extreme desktop processor.

The new Dual-Core desktop and mobile processors should be available in January, while the new Xeon and quad-core desktop CPUs are expected to be available in Q1 2008.

All 16 of these processors are manufactured using the new 45nm process. Aside from this, the most notable features are the speedy bus speeds, increased cache size, and Intel's HD Media Boost (also known as SSE4).

All new desktop Q9x00, E8x00, and Xeon X3x00 series processors will be 1333 MHz FSB compatible. The mobile T9x00 series and the Core 2 Extreme X9000 processor will support the slower 800 MHz FSB.

The cache increase is significant, as all of the new dual-core E8x00 series processors feature 6 MB of shared L2 cache, compared to the E6x00 series maximum of 4 MB of cache. Desktop quad-core Q9x00 series processors have either 6 MB or 12 MB of cache, and mobile dual-core processors will feature either 3 MB (on the T8x00 CPUs) or 6 MB (on the T9x00 CPUs).

As well, HD Media Boost may pack quite a performance punch, and Intel has claimed that SSE4 enhanced code can produce as much as a 100-200% increase in performance when running code optimized for the SSE4 instruction set. We will be testing this claim at Tom's Hardware over the next few days and will be releasing an in-depth review soon.

It's notable that pure clock speeds haven't increased much if at all. The only new Intel CPU to break the 3 GHz barrier is the new desktop dual-core E8500, which runs at 3.16 GHz. The increased cache and SSE4 instruction set might be responsible for the bulk of any performance increases over the E6x00 series.

Other new features that don't necessarily enhance performance include Deep Power Down Technology, which is designed to dramatically reduce power usage during idle periods - an especially useful feature on mobile CPUs that depend on battery power. An additional environmentally conscious attribute of these new processors is that they are reported to be lead free, and should be halogen free as well by the end of Q1 2008.

Aside from the CPUs themselves, Intel has released information about the future of the Mobile Intel 965 chipset, promising an integrated DirectX 10/Shader model 3.0 graphics chipset with hardware T&L in Q1 2008. We will also be testing the 965 chipset soon.

In addition, the mobile Menlow platform was also mentioned. With the 45nm hi-k low-power 'Silverthorne' CPU, Intel claims Menlow will use 10x lower CPU power in a 5x smaller CPU package, and promises the components will launch in Q1 with the first devices hitting the market in Q2 2008.

Once again, stay tuned to Tom's Hardware for an in-depth review of the new Intel processors.