Intel’s Nehalem processor is just a couple of breaths away and just like every new generation, it starts with a new extreme platform. This time it’s called Smackover. Even if Intel is still a few steps away from actually launching the platform, more and more Nehalem information is leaking on to the web, everything from performance to overclocking potential. The next piece covers the assembly of the first Nehalem-based PC. It’s MaximumPC.com which has gotten their hands on a complete Nehalem platform, built a PC and published an article where they focus on the physical differences between it and today’s Intel platforms.
The system consisted of Intel’s D58XSO ”Smackover” motherboard and a 2.93GHz Bloomfield processor. The new LGA1366 interface makes both processors and sockets a lot bigger, compared to the older LGA775. Alas, this brings compatibility problems with some processor coolers.
LGA1366 vs. LGA775
At the same time, Bloomfield now houses a tripe-channel DDR3 memory controller, which means that you can get up 50% more bandwidth than previous generations. MaximumPC has not published any benchmarks, but claims to have tested the system with 1, 2, and 3 memory modules.
”The best performance bump was going from single to dual-channel but going from dual to triple didn’t seem to pay the same dividends. Remember, the caveat here is that more performance is likely to come as BIOS and board makers tweak for the new chip and RAM vendors tweak their SPDs. Our test, in fact, was with the DDR3 at 1333 speeds. At higher speeds of 1600, 1800 or higher, the tri-channel may pay off.”
An interesting article for those who wants a clearer picture of the physical dimensions of the new processor platform.