Intel details its 45nm assault for early 2008

As the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off, Intel has divulged its launch roadmap for 45nm processors over the present quarter. We’ve already gone over the ins and outs of Intel’s Penryn architecture in our reviews of Intel’s Core 2 Extreme QX9650 and its first 45nm Xeons, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. To be brief, though, the new chips will have lower power utilization (thanks to the process technology shrink) and higher clock-for-clock performance (thanks to larger caches and architectural improvements) than today’s 65nm chips.

In total, Intel has 16 45nm processors spanning the desktop, mobile, and server/workstation markets lined up for launches throughout this quarter. Let’s take a look at the desktop contenders first:

Processor Cores Speed Cache FSB Price Launch
Core 2 Quad Q9550 4 2.83GHz 12MB 1333MHz $530 Q1
Core 2 Quad Q9450 4 2.66GHz 12MB 1333MHz $316 Q1
Core 2 Quad Q9300 4 2.50GHz 6MB 1333MHz $266 Q1
Core 2 Duo E8500 2 3.16GHz 6MB 1333MHz $266 January
Core 2 Duo E8400 2 3.00GHz 6MB 1333MHz $183 January
Core 2 Duo E8200 2 2.66GHz 6MB 1333MHz $163 January
Core 2 Duo E8190 2 2.66GHz 6MB 1333MHz $163 January

The fact that Intel differentiates between “January” and “Q1” for its launch schedule suggests 45nm Core 2 Quad processors have been delayed until February or March as rumored. Prices listed also tell us that 45nm Core 2 Quads won’t play in the same ballpark as AMD’s Phenom processors, which are currently available for less than $200. That’s good news for AMD, although Phenoms with more modest clock speeds may face stiff competition from some of the high-end 45nm Core 2 Duos. As a side note, Intel says its low-end Core 2 Duo E8190 will lack support for virtualization and trusted execution technology.

On the mobile side of things, Intel has five processors queued up:

Processor Cores Speed Cache FSB Price Launch
Core 2 Extreme X9000 2 2.80GHz 6MB 800MHz $851 January
Core 2 Duo T9500 2 2.60GHz 6MB 800MHz $530 January
Core 2 Duo T9300 2 2.50GHz 6MB 800MHz $316 January
Core 2 Duo T8300 2 2.40GHz 3MB 800MHz $241 January
Core 2 Duo T8100 2 2.10GHz 3MB 800MHz $209 January

These chips have prices and clock speeds not too different from those of current models (PDF). The 45nm processors’ higher performance and lower power utilization make it hard to complain, though—especially considering all five processors are due this month.

Finally, there are four new Xeons in Intel’s roadmap for Q1:

Processor Cores Speed Cache FSB Price Launch
Xeon X3360 4 2.83GHz 12MB 1333MHz $530 Q1
Xeon X3350 4 2.66GHz 12MB 1333MHz $316 Q1
Xeon X3320 4 2.50GHz 6MB 1333MHz $266 Q1
Xeon E3110 2 3.00GHz 6MB 1333MHz $188 Q1

Here, Intel isn’t taking any chances: its 45nm quad-core Xeons will be significantly cheaper than existing 65nm models. For example, the 2.66GHz Xeon X3350 will launch at $316, whereas Intel currently sells (PDF) its 2.66GHz Xeon X3230 for $530. The pricing and clock scalability of 45nm quad-core Xeons could be a danger to AMD’s quad-core Opterons, although the aforementioned chips seem to be aimed at single-socket servers only.

Of course, Intel’s plans for this year aren’t entirely about conventional x86 strongholds. The company made it clear last year that it was also planning a new Menlow platform made up of a 45nm Silverthorne processor and an accompanying Poulsbo chipset aimed specifically at “Mobile Internet Devices.” Menlow has been built from the ground up for MIDs, Intel says, and Silverthorne features 10-times-lower power utilization and a package five times smaller than that of the previous ultra-mobile Intel product.

According to Intel, the first Menlow-based MIDs will be out in the market in the second quarter of this year. Many industry big shots are said to be “pursuing Menlow-based devices,” including Aigo, Asus, BenQ, Clarion, Compal, Digifriends, EB, Gigabyte, Inventec, Lenovo, LG, LiteOn, Quanta, Toshiba, USI, and Willcom.

All things considered, Intel’s 45nm offensive looks tamer than it could have been, with many 45nm chips simply replacing previous models at roughly similar clock speeds and price points. However, as we’ve already said (and seen first-hand), the 45nm parts will bring substantial improvements in the realms of energy use and clock-for-clock performance.

Comments closed
    • donkeycrock
    • 13 years ago

    when do the benchmarks come? and will they work with the 680i chipset?

    • cloh2083
    • 13 years ago

    Is the QX9650 from the 45nm Penryn family as well?

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      Yes it is.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 13 years ago

    I still think they’ve secured their position vs AMD in this, but I note a destinct lack of a 1600FBS in the lineup. Maybe they’re holding off on that for now for several reasons.

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      For now the current roadmap only leaves 1600FSB for the Extreme editions.

    • timbits
    • 13 years ago

    guess i won’t be buying that e6750 afterall, the power consumption stats in the xbitlabs article are amazing. waiting for these 45nm chips gives me a little bit longer to see if the 8800GS will materialize or not.

    • Jigar
    • 13 years ago

    Core 2 Quad Q9450 looks to be my next upgrade choice.

    • hermanshermit
    • 13 years ago

    Hello…. AMD….. Hello…. Are you there? Hello…

    On another point, can any non-server app really use 12mb cache? there is precious little difference today between 1, 2 and 4MB core 2 CPUs. I guess it’s a case of new software being optimised.

      • stdPikachu
      • 13 years ago

      Firstly, it’s two lots of 6MB of cache, not 12MB – that can make a very big difference depending on the app. And I’m sure there are plenty of apps that can use that amount of cache – high end databases certainly can, which is why procs like POWER and Itanium can come with 18-32MB of L3 cache. Have a gander at this pic §[<http://www.netlib.org/utk/papers/advanced-computers/power5.html<]§ and see how big iron does it :) As far as servers are concerned, it's more a question of how much data/different apps can be kept in cache at once, more so than having any one app use all the cache available, because every time you access memory you lose processing power. If an app and it's working dataset can fit entirely in cache, you generally see pretty impressive performance as memory accesses are much reduced. As far as customers are concerned, some apps are very sensitive to memory - games being one of them. C2D hides it relatively high memory latency with a large cache and clever memory prefetch algroithms which is why the low-latency Athlon64 was able to get away with such tiny caches.

    • slot_one
    • 13 years ago

    Windows 3.0 running from cache instead of RAM/HDD. 😛

      • eitje
      • 13 years ago

      exactly what i was thinking!

    • Fighterpilot
    • 13 years ago

    Wolfdale E8500 goes to 4.3ghz on air with a bit of extra voltage…yikes!
    Those XBit labs results are mighty impressive across the board.
    12MB cache Q9450 looks like a sweetdeal at those prices.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 13 years ago

    Gack, do I see a return to half-step multipliers? 2.5GHz at 1333 is a 7.5x multi on the Q9300

    • bogbox
    • 13 years ago

    Intel has o huge problem with the new quads ,the Q1 show that rumors are right .They have the advantage of time and money to fix it in doors.
    AMD hasn’t the money and advantage of performents crown, they have debit ,losing money every quarter, they are wiling to sell even the scrap chip,I’m not blaming them for this.

      • Luminair
      • 13 years ago

      Intel has no problem with the quads, they are just selling all of them as xeons to OEMs

    • DancinJack
    • 13 years ago

    Intel might finally get my money with this range of CPU’s. The Q9450 or the E8400 look really good to me right now. 12mb of cache, mmmmmm.

    • Ruiner
    • 13 years ago

    That $163 e8200 looks mighty tempting. Great power consumption and thermals too.
    Blew the doors off the best dually Green could put up…..and green was at it’s effective clock ceiling and the wolf at it’s floor.

    I wonder what street prices will be.

    • VILLAIN_xx
    • 13 years ago

    An assault? more like a Blitzkrieg.

      • Smurfer2
      • 13 years ago

      Mmmmmm Blitzkrieg…. 😀

    • Covert7
    • 13 years ago

    Crap and I just ordered a couple E6550’s. 🙁

    Oh well that’s the cycle for ya…

    • Ruiner
    • 13 years ago
      • mako
      • 13 years ago

      Wow, that’s pretty crazy. > 4GHz on air….

      • cygnus1
      • 13 years ago

      is it just me, or did that whole ‘article’ seem to be written by an Intel PR person

        • Kurotetsu
        • 13 years ago

        Don’t worry, its just you.

    • albundy
    • 13 years ago

    cant wait to see the xeon vs. c2q benchmarks. would also be nice to see their o/c potential.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 13 years ago

    12MB of cache? I’ll be damned, my puny little X2 3800+ has only 1MB.

      • VILLAIN_xx
      • 13 years ago

      Dont feel bad.. I still have a single core AMD 3400! i dont even have 1mb of cache.

      :o)

    • michael_d
    • 13 years ago

    I am waiting for 45nm Phenoms and Nehalem to make my final decision before I update

      • StashTheVampede
      • 13 years ago

      Don’t stop waiting there! Nehalem’s successor is only a few months away, right?

        • tfp
        • 13 years ago

        No looks to be end of 2k8 for extreme and Q2 for standard stuff in 2k9

    • 1970BossMsutang
    • 13 years ago

    I just can’t wait for Intels quad core mobile chips…whenever that will be released.

    • Dposcorp
    • 13 years ago

    I still want to go AMD for my next setup, but this looks like a nice deal.

    q[

      • Vaughn
      • 13 years ago

      Agree with you 100% sir.

    • cappa84
    • 13 years ago

    Damn. I had my heart set on getting a C2Q 9450 on Jan 20th.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 13 years ago

    Looks awesome. Though Intel still hasn’t announced anything resembling a release date for the P45 chipset…

      • Flying Fox
      • 13 years ago

      Other than ICH10 (more USB ports?) I don’t see anything really earth shattering in the P45 compared to P35.

      By the time PCIe 2.0 matters we will be way into the Nehalem era so this is also not significant in my book.

    • Nitrodist
    • 13 years ago

    Can you even buy those laptop CPUs and then replace them in laptops???

      • ReAp3r-G
      • 13 years ago

      let’s see…i’ve seen someone change the proc in a dell XPS laptop from a T2500 to the newer generation C2D mobile procs…without any voltage changes or BIOS updates and it worked…so technically you can, if the CPU socket is easily accessible and you don’t mind voiding your warranty…

      either that, or you could get one of those ASUS laptops which are proclaimed to be upgradeable…the CPU socket is easily accessible and stuff…so there you go…i guess the answer is yes, unless someone cares to shed some light if i’m wrong? 🙂

      oh and i forgot to mention, awhile back i think ASUS came up with a mobile proc socket that can be placed onto LGA775 sockets, so you can use mobile CPU’s…so i guess you can buy them and use it in desktops if your intention is to save power and stuff…

    • Thorburn
    • 13 years ago

    “For example, the 2.83GHz Xeon X3360 will launch at $530, whereas Intel currently sells (PDF) its 2.66GHz Xeon X5355 for $744 and its 3GHz Xeon X5365 for a hefty $1,172.”

    Not really a fair comparison, X3xxx is LGA775, single socket, X5xxx is LGA771, dual-socket.

      • Cyril
      • 13 years ago

      Looks like you’re right, I’ve updated the post to reflect this.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    q[

      • SS4
      • 13 years ago

      yeah, there must be a mistake on the price coz right now this CPU makes no sense as to why it even exist…

      • mczak
      • 13 years ago

      No, this is correct. This is similar to the current E6540, which is the same as the E6550 except it doesn’t support TXT (it does, however, support VT), and costs the same. Looks pointless to me too, but I guess it must be intended for some business customers which absolutely do not want these features? They could just get some E4xxx (or E7xxx soon) though instead (though I’m sure intel is happy to sell them a more expensive model…). I’ve yet to see a E6540 in retail, however (granted this chip doesn’t make sense as a retail version, and indeed using the intel processorfinder confirms it’s OEM only). I bet it’s the same deal with the E8190 (this one’s not yet listed at the processorfinder), so for all intents and purposes you can just forget it even exists…

    • soccergenius
    • 13 years ago

    Will any of the new mobile Core 2 Duos be for socket M?

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