Clarkdale. What is it?What's new for the press this year?
At recent IDFs, Intel has conducted press-only sessions that give us a sneak peek into the performance of yet-to-be-released chips.
Usually, these CPUs tend to be high-end parts, making enthusiasts salivate with benchmark-busting desire.
Core i3 with integrated graphics
This time around, Intel's sneak peek is something more pragmatic - the next-generation mainstream desktop chip known as Clarkdale. It is the codename for upcoming Core i3-branded CPUs that will be released in Q1 2010.
A move to a more power-efficient manufacturing process - 32nm Westmere, derived from Nehalem - enables Intel to add some special sauce to Clarkdale.
Architecturally, Clarkdale is a 32nm dual-core, four-threaded (hyperthreaded) chip that's internally QPI-connected to separate piece of 45nm silicon that houses the GPU and dual-channel memory-controller - all in the same package.
What you'll be buying in 2010
In 2010, for the first time, then, you'll be buying a CPU that integrates the GPU on to the same package, removing it from the northbridge. The same methodology will be transferred to laptops, too, under the Arrandale core.
The removal of core-logic should mean, we hope, that system integrators will release cheaper low-end systems with basic integrated DX10-compliant graphics.
How does it perform? Find out on the next page.