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Intel Core i7 'Nehalem' CPUs go on sale

Old-gen 'energy efficient' quad-cores coming

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Intel's first 'Nehalem' processors, the desktop Core i7 series, is now on sale, but that hasn't stopped it adding new Core 2 Quad chips to its roadmap.

The 45nm four-core Core i7 line-up comprises the 2.66GHz 920, the 2.93GHz 940 and the 3.2GHz 965 Extreme. All three contain 8MB of L2 and L3 cache, and an on-board memory controller capable of hooking up to 1066MHz DDR 3. They consume up to 130W.

The Nehalem's use Intel's QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) bus to talk to the company's X58 chipset. The 965's QPI speed is 6.4bn transfers per second (GT/s), while the other two chips both operate 4.8GT/s buses.

The three chips are available now and cost $284, $562 and $999, respectively. That's when ordered in batches of 1000 - boxed parts will be slightly more expensive.

The Core i7s use a new interconnect - no surprise given the new bus - but that doesn't mean the old LGA775 is going away. In Q1 2009, Intel will release a trio of Core 2 Quad, all consuming no more than 65W and pitched as energy-efficient quad-core CPUs - denoted by an 's' suffix.

The Q8200s runs at 2.33GHz and has 4MB of L2. The Q9400s ups speed and cache to 2.66GHz and 6MB, respectively. The 2.863GHz Q9550s has 12MB of L2. All three CPUs run on 1333MHz frontside buses, Chinese-language site HKEPC reports.

They'll be priced at $245, $320 and $369, respectively.

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