Sunday, January 18th 2009

Intel 5-Series Chipset Lineup Detailed

Now faced with delays, Intel's upcoming Ibex-Peak platform, a next-generation mainstream implementation of the Nehalem architecture, is an interesting mix of technologies, where Intel seeks to minimise the platform and energy footprints while delivering value and performance through a clever bit of rearrangement of system components. HKEPC has learned that Intel's 5-Series mainstream chipsets consists of five models: P57, Q57, H57, P55, and H55. The P57 and P55 are built for the consumer PC with discrete graphics. The H57 and H55 chipsets are built for processors with integrated graphics, with support for the Intel FDI. The Q57 is built for the business / enterprise-client PC, it supports a host of exclusive Intel technologies that make the machine easier to manage.

With Intel's upcoming Lynnfield quad-core and Havendale dual-core processors go a step beyond merely housing the memory controllers. They now also integrate PCI-Express root complexes, and some models even feature integrated graphics controllers on-die. This completely eliminates the requirement of a northbridge, leaving a southbridge to handle storage and peripherals. What this design does is that it eliminates a system bus between the CPU and the motherboard, with the components housed in the CPU having an internal QuickPath Interconnect linking all components, which aims to bring down latencies. The only connections the processor ends up having with the motherboard would be the PCI-Express lanes, a DMI connection to the southbridge, connections for the dual-channel DDR3 memory, and for processors with IGPs, a separate connection called Intel Flexible Display interface that routes the IGP to its I/O via the southbridge. The processor uses the newer LGA-1160 socket.

The PCI-Express root complex the processors come with can support up to two graphics cards with 8 PCI-Express 2.0 lanes each, or a single graphics card with full-bandwidth 16 lanes. The ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU technology is supported, while SLI support isn't known as yet. While 8 PCI-E 2.0 lanes to drive today's powerful GPUs sounds like a cause for concern, later down the line, one can expect motherboard vendors work around this bottleneck using PCI-E multiplex chips such as the NVIDIA BR-03, that provide full x16 connections to each graphics card, and attempt to boost performance using data-broadcast functions. All models of the 5-series PCH chipsets support six SATA II connections, and as many as 14 USB 2.0 ports. The 5-series chipset launch schedule spans from Q3 2009 to Q1 2010, though with news emerging of delays in the launch schedule, these could be pushed further away, maybe into 2010 altogether.Source: HKEPC
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14 Comments on Intel 5-Series Chipset Lineup Detailed

#1
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
What madness is this? Oh dear, there's a lot to go wrong. :(
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#2
lemonadesoda
Too many SKUs. This will lead to product confusion and frustrations to "uprgading" or "high specced machines" but on similar chipsets/mainboards. A lot of extra work for Enterprise management (both knowledge, orders, spares, drivers) and a lot of confusions for consumers.

THIS IS A SYMPTOM of mismanagement at Intel... too many branches in their organisation resulting in too many similar and competing product offerings. Now mix in Atom, Larrabee and Server chipsets/CPUs and you have a complete mess.

Let's just wait to see how OEMs will enjoy stockpiling of chipsets.

Let's just wait to see how consumers get tired of out-of-stock mainboards and CPUs.

Let's just wait to see how many crappy discount computers are built on the "overstocks" of unwanted parts.

:shadedshu
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#3
ShadowFold
They aren't LGA1366 right? What the hell is with that? I hope this doesn't become a trend..
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#4
AlCabone
It seems like Fusion won't be the first CPU with integrated graphics.
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#5
Exavier
so this is x8/x8 or one single x16? I thought we were past all that crap..
and is it me or is the nomenclature of the sets now totally SNAFU? P57?
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#6
PCpraiser100
Wow, and they still don't have dual x16 support, what a n00b move from Intel. Come on Intel, cut the profit crap out and give us the good stuff to enjoy Lynnfield.
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#7

Better still, ditch this i5 platform altogether and reduce the cost of i7 a little, slash all the Q9xxx chips down to mainstream prices (£100-£150) so quads are affordable, the advantage with this is the C2D quads are cheap enough for most people, the i7 is worth the extra cost for its raw performance.
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#8
AddSub
Better still, ditch this i5 platform altogether and reduce the cost of i7 a little
This might actually happen in a short-term. It makes sense from a financial point of view.
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#9
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
by: PCpraiser100
Wow, and they still don't have dual x16 support, what a n00b move from Intel. Come on Intel, cut the profit crap out and give us the good stuff to enjoy Lynnfield.
Giving lower end chips the same features as the high end chips effectively screws sales on high end chips. Intel is a company, companies have only one goal, which is profit. I think it's not a n00b move but a n00b comment.
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#10
DonInKansas
by: insider
Better still, ditch this i5 platform altogether and reduce the cost of i7 a little, slash all the Q9xxx chips down to mainstream prices (£100-£150) so quads are affordable, the advantage with this is the C2D quads are cheap enough for most people, the i7 is worth the extra cost for its raw performance.
But if they made quads affordable for everybody, this would essentially kill any chance of selling dual cores.

That doesn't make good business sense.
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#11

It was in their roadmap making quads mainstream just like going from single core to dual core, it makes better business sense to stick to single core designs that cost less to make but you won't get much performance improvements out of it, hence lower sales in the long term ;)
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#12
zithe
i5 is a stupid idea, imho. There is absolutely no space in between C2 and I7 to fit in an entirely new platform and the prices of a new mobo and DDR3 would still set it above C2 in cost. I can't imagine it being any better than Core2 at the moment.
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#14
jesterb32
For some not all: This Intel 5-series chipset is not a new processor thats going to be named i5, its a motherboard chipset. Chipsets of mobos out there have some number in there model like G31, P35, P45, x48, etc. Its the North and South bridge of the motherboard.

They're coming out with this new chipset for their new 32nm processor, Westmere. Which means that if you want to use their new 32nm processor then you need a 5 series motherboard chipset because Westmere is going to have the GFX and memory controller inside the processor.
Long story short, i dont think they are set on this chipset, they might come out with or change it so it has more then one x16 channel
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