32nm Clarkdale specs, details begin to appear

— 9:46 AM on August 11, 2009

Intel has seven processors based on its 32nm Clarkdale architecture up its sleeve, according to IT168. The Chinese website has posted a whole list of those processors with some of their purported specifications.

If these details are legit, we'll see a three-way split between four Core i5-branded models (clocked from 3.2 to 3.46GHz), two Core i3 models (clocked at 2.93 and 3.06GHz), and a Pentium G6950 running at 2.8GHz. An authentic-looking roadmap snapshot suggests the Core i5 variants will start at about the same price as the Core 2 Duo E8400—so, around $168.

There's something puzzling about this information, though. IT168 claims Core i5- and Core i3-branded Clarkdale processors will all have two cores, four threads, 4MB of cache, and support for DDR3-1333 memory. Only the lone Pentium will have fewer threads and less cache. Why the different names, then? The folks at Expreview have come up with an answer: the Core i3 range will lack Turbo Boost functionality, which can push individual cores above the CPU's rated clock speed depending on load and thermal limits.

Turbo Boost is present in current Core i7 chips, and Intel told us it will be much more potent in quad-core Lynnfield CPUs. Recent information suggests Lynnfield will debut next month under the Core i7 and Core i5 umbrellas—Core i7-branded models will have four cores and eight threads, while the Core i5-branded ones will have four cores and four threads. Apparently, only model numbers will differentiate Core i5-branded Clarkdale and Lynnfield CPUs.

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