Intel today demonstrated its next-generation Nehalem processor to us behind closed doors. The platform running was running a quad core processor. Intel engineers ran several high definition video demos in Sony Vegas. With the results we saw, there’s no doubt that Nehalem will be a processor to set a new bar in performance.
While we’re unable to reveal the actual clock speed that the sample was running at, Intel engineers pointed out that the system was air cooled, running on "very healthy silicon." One Intel engineered remarked "you won’t believe it. It’s insane." Sources close to Intel engineers indicated that the core frequency of the Nehalem sample is very high, and we can confirm that the system was running at a very impressive clock rate. We’ll go out on a limb here and say that nothing else currently available on the market matches it.
CPU utilization during video editing was well distributed across all 4 cores. The system utilized its thread processing very effectively, and at no point was there any halting or delay. The system was also using a dual SSD drive raid setup, which clearly helped with load times. Intel is pushing SSD drives in a very big way, and although the performance that was demonstrated wasn’t a true test of SSD performance, one could already tell that there is an incredible performance boost. During playback, CPU utilization was very high, very close to always being at 100-percent, which proved that the bottleneck became the CPU when system I/O performance is high.
Many publications indicate that Nehalem will start with 8-cores, but Intel indicated that this is incorrect. Nehalem will launch with 4-cores, with each core able to process 2 threads for a total of 8 simultaneous threads.