We've already caught a glimpse at the performance of Intel's next-gen Nehalem CPUs, so we know they should pack a mean punch. But another big question remains: when will mainstream Nehalem derivatives come out? In an attempt to answer that question, Expreview has scavenged an Intel roadmap that lays out Core 2 and Nehalem CPUs from now until the second quarter of 2009.
Assuming the roadmap is genuine, Intel will unveil 3.2GHz, 2.93GHz, and 2.66GHz Bloomfield CPUs in the fourth quarter of this year, with the latter sitting at the same level as today's $340 Core 2 Quad Q9450. Surprisingly, the three chips will remain in the same positions until Q2 2009, while Intel shuffles Core 2 offerings and replaces the Core 2 Quad Q6600 with a 45nm Core 2 Quad Q8200. The roadmap hints at a possible speed bump in Q2'09, but no cheaper Bloomfields.
In another news post, Expreview goes on to say all three Bloomfield CPUs will have DDR3 memory controllers built in, with DDR3-1333 support on the fastest model and DDR3-1066 on the rest. If this information is also correct, it could mean even a $340 Bloomfield may cost more than a comparable Core 2 Quad because of higher DDR3 memory prices. DDR3 RAM could be cheaper in Q4, but the cheapest 4GB DDR3 kit on Newegg right now costs around $200, compared to $73 for the same amount of DDR2.