Nehalem processor, workstation motherboard pictured

— 12:42 PM on February 22, 2008

Intel's next-generation Nehalem processor is still several months away from release, with current rumors pinning its launch some time in the fourth quarter of this year. However, the resourceful folks on the VR-Zone forums have managed to scavenge pictures of what they say are a Nehalem chip and a matching workstation motherboard.

The processor looks similar to existing LGA771 and LGA775 offerings, although the edges of the package around the heatspreader seem wider and appear to house a number of contacts, presumably in addition to those on the underside of the chip. As for the motherboard, it's a Gigabyte prototype reminiscent of AMD Opteron motherboards, with two LGA-style sockets positioned right next to two sets of six memory slots. Nehalem will feature an integrated memory controller just like current AMD chips, so that arrangement makes sense. Looking elsewhere on the board, one can spot a core logic chipset in the lower right region, five PCI Express x8 slots, and a lone PCI-X slot at the bottom.

VR-Zone doesn't mention specifications for either the board or the chip, although it does say the mobo is based on the Tylersburg chipset. Interestingly, previous rumors claim Tylersburg will support three channels of DDR3-1333 memory, suggesting that the 12 DIMM slots on the board could be six pairs each tied to a separate memory controller. With DDR3-1333 RAM, such an arrangement would yield a theoretical maximum of 64GB/s of memory bandwidth for the entire board.

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