Monday, March 8, 2010

6-core Intel Core i7 "Gulftown"

The Intel Core i7 processor is back - now with 2 more cores to make it a 6-core

We interrupt our regular *cough* BrickTech comics to bring you breaking news about Intel's new hexacore (hex=6) Core i7 (which we all thought would be called i9 to avoid confusion with the original quad-core i7, Bloomfield!) To make matters worse, there was another quad-core i7 after the original version which works with the i5 and i3, the Lynnfield. You can find out more about the 2nd-gen i7 in our previous post here. Now on with the new hex-core...

The new 6-core i7 looks the same like the 1st-gen i7 because it works on the same X58 boards

The new Gulftown 6-core i7 still works on the 1st-gen i7 boards, the X58, so your x58 with 1st-gen quad-core i7 can now be upgraded to the 3rd-gen hexa-core i7 with just a BIOS update.

If you really must look under the skirt of the new 6-core i7, well, here it is

So that's basically the good news about this new 3rd-gen i7 6-core processor! The question would be just how much more power and performance does this 6-core offer over the quad-core? For a start, since the i7 processors come with Hyper-Threading, this makes the new 6-core i7 have 12 processing threads instead, as opposed to the current quad-core i7 having 8 threads capability. In other words, the new 6-core will seem to have 12 cores of processing.

In case you're confused with all the 3 gens of i7 out there, the new Gulftown box says Six Core

We'll be running a few benchmarks to give you raw numbers so you can make the comparison for yourself, (yes, we know we STILL owe you Quadro gaming - we'll come to that when our jobs aren't killing us - start paying us and this site will turn into a full-time LEGO-tech-comic-etc.)

It's not a 1st and 2nd-gen quad-core i7 with just a dual-core inside, it's a whole new 6-core

In the meantime, here are more pictures of the new 6-core i7, as well as Intel's new cooling fan (called the DBX-B Thermal Solution) which finally uses the car radiator design (which is better than the typical top-down cooling which only heats up the board instead). It even has a switch to toggle between fast and slow!

Octo copper heat-pipes from the copper base channel thermal accumulation into the aluminium heat-sink fins which then get cooled by the cooling fan to be blown out back of the computer casing via a hopefully-installed rear cooling fan. Checkout the quad screw system to fasten it on! Just a simple twist to secure the heat-sink in place! No more messy screwdrivers!

The top of the fan sports a toggle hardware switch so you can select between P (Performance @ 1800RPM) or Q (Quiet @ 800RPM) modes - for faster cooling but nosier, or quieter but slower cooling. Nice touch Intel!

Dow Corning TC-1996 Zinc Oxide thermal paste

Last but not least, the bundled thermal compound grease to be applied between the Gulftown and the new cooling fan is Dow Corning TC-1996 Zinc Oxide (grey). You can also get it here (USD15).

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