According to the latest whispers from Asia, Intel's Lynnfield quad-core processor (nicknamed Core i5 by some sources) will launch in early September. What kind of performance can you look forward to? Anand Lal Shimpi from Anandtech has secured a Lynnfield sample from an anonymous source, and he's taken it for a spin through his benchmark suite in order to find out.
The sample came clocked at 2.13GHz by default, but Anand managed to push it to 2.66GHz—the rumored speed of the cheapest Lynnfield CPU—for the test. Without Hyper-Threading enabled (again, reflecting the rumored specs), the processor apparently sat roughly between the Phenom II X4 955 and the Core i7-920 overall. It occasionally outperformed both or lagged behind.
That said, the chip's Turbo Boost mode was limited to just one 133MHz step above the default speed. Anand expects that release CPUs will be able to speed up individual cores by as much as 667MHz when other cores are sitting idle.
Anandtech's preview doesn't focus on performance alone, though. Among other things, the piece also takes a cursory look at the Lynnfield platform, and it includes photos of the Lynnfield sample CPU and a matching LGA1156-compatible cooler from Thermaltake. Apparently, LGA1156 CPUs will have roughly the same dimensions as their LGA775 predecessors, but with a higher pin density and slightly smaller heat spreaders.