Originally scheduled to launch in November or December this year, Intel’s Nehalem-based Bloomfield processors will now launch in September along with X58 chipsets, sources at motherboard makers revealed. However, the sources pointed out that CPUs and motherboards will not officially appear in the channel until early October.
We took an early look at Nehalem in a quad-core configuration running at 2.93 GHz. In our very early tests, our Nehalem part performed quite impressively. It beat out the competition by fairly significant margins, proving that Intel’s architectural changes is definitely on the positive side. Our part was able to outperform equally configured systems with current processors from both AMD’s camp and Intel’s own by margins between 20 to 30 percent.
Keep in mind that Nehalem no longer uses a traditional front-side bus (FSB), and instead uses an external multiplier to control the link between CPU core, memory controller, and north-bridge.
According to several of our sources, Intel is well on its way with silicon yield, and early samples confirm this. With our own sample in house, we were able to overclock our samples by nearly 1 GHz. What are the performance figures for a quad-core Nehalem system running at nearly 4 GHz? We’ll come back with more as soon as we develop a viable suite of benchmarks to show some real-world gaming and productivity performance.