Well, how about that. Not content with benchmarking Intel's upcoming 45nm Lynnfield chips before everybody else, the Chinese have now gotten an early crack at a 32nm Clarkdale engineering sample, as well. HKEPC has posted a preview of a purported 3.06GHz Core i3-540, including performance numbers for both the CPU and the integrated graphics core.
For doubting Thomases, the site prefaces its benchmarks with a few photos of the Clarkdale engineering sample, plus shots of a Lynnfield CPU and the (seemingly cancelled) dual-core, 45nm Havendale design for good measure. In the benchmarks, HKEPC compares the Core i3 to the Havendale sample as well as a Core 2 Duo E8400 overclocked slightly to 3.07GHz.
As it turns out, the Clarkdale sample pretty much wipes the floor with the Core 2 Duo overall. Hey, what do you expect with two Nehalem cores and four threads? Power consumption tests show that the 32nm process does its job, too: the Core i3 system draws less power both idle and under load. On the graphics front, the Core i3's built-in GPU looks to be faster than the current Intel GMA X4500HD, but still slower than Nvidia's GeForce 9400.
The article even includes specs and pricing for the upcoming Clarkdale lineup, which should debut early next year. Reportedly, Clarkdale-based Core i5 processors will start with a 3.2GHz clock speed and $176 price tag. You can also look forward to two Turbo Boost-free, Core i3-branded derivatives priced at $123 and $143, not to mention a lone $87 "Pentium G6950" that should lack both Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading. The specs and names are consistent with information we gleaned elsewhere earlier this month.