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Intel Decides to Unlock the Memory Multiplier of its Core i7-920 and Core i7-940 CPUs

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#1
Thanks to some inside information that was published today by various hardware portals, now we know that Intel has decided to enhance the overclocking capabilities of two of its still to be released non-Extreme Core i7 processors. Intel's LGA 1366 Core i7-940 and Core i7-920, which are clocked at 2.93GHz and 2.66GHz respectively will now boast unlocked memory controlers, meaning that users will be able to change the memory multiplier and thus the memory frequency beyond the stock DDR3 800/1066MHz speed. The unlocked memory multiplier will also allow the QPI speed to be changed. The Quick Path Interconnect (QPI) bus resembles AMD's Hypertransport bus. A slide change in the memory frequency will result in higher QPI bus speed, just like in the current AMD processor family. Previously, we knew that only the Core i7 Extreme processors like the 3.2GHz Core i7-965 Extreme Edition will have these overclocking features. I sincerely hope that with this last minute change Intel will make us overclockers really happy.

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Wile E

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#2
I had a feeling everyone was worrying about nothing. With as much attention as Intel garnered from the Core2's overclocking ability, they would've been silly to limit i7 cpus.
 
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#3
I think this is actually worrying. It indicates you HAVE TO OVERCLOCK to get a performance that is clearly ahead of current gen CPU and FSB/Memory setups. If the performance was already there... there would be no need to offer "Extreme Edition" features on standard SKU at launch. :shadedshu

I think a few people suspected that Nehalem was lukewarm. And I doubt an unlocked memory controller will make it boil.
 
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#4
So is this just clock speeds which are unlocked? i.e voltages are still going to be locked?
 
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#5
So what does this mean for us? My guess is that the medium ones would not overclock with out this unlocked? Also that they knew it would piss us overclockers off and turn us off to the new architecture? So they enabled this on the medium ones as well, am I right here?
 
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#6
It looks like Intel is finally showing off their money's worth, but what does this mean for the Extreme i7s?
 
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#7
It looks like Intel is finally showing off their money's worth, but what does this mean for the Extreme i7s?
maybe the'll come with LN2 so you don't have to worry about temps
:roll:
 
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#8
I think the problem these new chips will have is that they are very power hungry so just raising the QPI on some boards will have limited results. That's why we are seeing 18 phase boards from Asus, it could also mean that there are 8 cores processors planed to be released early enough. Whatever the case I welcome this as it will be much easier to overclock those beasts. I'm planning to get the 2.66 model and reach somewhere around 4Ghz with it, if it does 3.66 on air I will be happy with it...
 
I

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#9
Intel will slowly push C2D Quadcore into the mainstream price sector, there might not be a huge difference clock for clock but when they start delivering 6-8+ core i7 chips the megahertz factor will matter less and less.

I don't think I'll be buying into that platform for at least another 12-18 months after launch, assuming DDR3 drops near DDR2 prices by then!
 

Siman0

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#10
i dont know this seams a bit concerning to unlock the processor this late into development im thinking they have ran into a bug along the way since this is the first to have a IMC and newer technology in it (for intel) wonder if they are going to have a disaster like AMD with the TLB jest something concerning since they practically ripped off Hyper Transport...this could be a grate thing but if they are tying to smooth out a problem so the impact is less noticed this could be a big problem
 

Solaris17

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#11
I dont understand what the problem is?....i mean people say WTF? with the oc features and wtf with supposed performance and comparing it to s775 these procs have 4 cores with hyper threading am i correct? so thas 4 cores 8 threads. and i can assure you they arent going to go back in time so it the arch of the chip will perform onpar at the least with core arch and im putting my money on better. So with 4 cores and 8 threads of an arch thats better than core why are we fightin about performance? seriously? i mean im sticking with 75 because so little is coming out with i7 that if i upgraded id have the same rig as 90% of the ppl that also upgraded but in all honesty it isnt out yet and imho i havent seen a reveiw anyware thats as honest as ones here on tpu so going by those even if corei7 was deemed slow i would take it with more salt than a deer's salt lick. I say wait for it i bet it will perform. and as for power consumtion i find it funny people are all in a knot over it...i mean what about 4 years aog...in the time between P4 and A64? like B4 AMD came out with the A64 series everyone was all over P4's because of the clock. and maybe alot of us have forgotten but if you dont remember the TDP and heat out put of the P4 go look up some old reveiws and tech docs P4's were worse. I dont know what everyone expects but complainin about it doesnt seem like the thing to do...EVERYONE knows that when a new socket comes out with a new arch TDP heat output and power consumption are higher than down the road when they revise the socket. and hell we were all omg P4's are awsome and those bled soaked up and used more juice and heat than these things.
 
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#12
Anything getting unlocked is only a positive thing at any time.

But, regarding the Vdimm=Vcore (sort of) 'issue', I think that has nothing to do with unlocking, it's simply built that way thus far (unless I missed something). But AFAIK it has everything to do with the pins (or balls? WTF, I dont know).

But to be honest, I dont see the huge hype in i7 at all. It's basicly at one point a move in technology where AMD was all the time but coming with the better performance. On the other point, i7 is aimed mainly to catch up where it left behind on the server market.

i7 will mainly introduce more fun in OC'ing, but if you were looking for more fun into OC'ing, K10 has been there all the time for all the fun you might need.

And regarding power consumption and Solaris' post, couldnt say it better. Actually, I always say that if you're that much into tree talking, you even shouldnt have a PC in the first place. One thing that's just annoying is that people were always laughing at AMD's power consumption while it had a complete other architecture, now i7 has the same and it's at once less of an issue or Intel is getting flaimed over it. Native core designs are by no means the same as MCM. Also it's their first native core design, I think there will be some promising revisions. Although, Ive got to admit it was quite weird to see i7 coming with that TDP based on a high/k and metal gate 45nm process, but as said, revisions:rolleyes:.
 

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#13
So is this just clock speeds which are unlocked? i.e voltages are still going to be locked?
The vdimm being locked to vcore is FUD. There is no way they would run 1.5V to vcore if they didn't have to. Vcore is most likely locked to vMCH, if anything.


Also, this article is not saying the multi is unlocked, just the MCH and QPI settings, allowing you to overclock better than without this. The Extreme is still going to be the only multi unlocked chip.
 

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#14
probably have really good/bad reason for them to unlock it, and no not because of modders but because of something they know that we dont, because if these are the EE parts then they are going to be over 1000 USD.
 

sethk

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#15
It looks like Intel is finally showing off their money's worth, but what does this mean for the Extreme i7s?
I haven't heard anything yet about fully upwards unlocked CPU Clock multipliers (the "turbo mode" thing will just be a 1x upwards move, and we don't know if it can be user-forced) - chances are that will be an Extreme Edition-only feature, just like current CPUs.

The features mentioned in this article only bring the the overclocking features of the bloomfield in par with what you could practically do with a Core 2 based CPU. Granted there are differences because of the on-board memory controller and the QPI replacing the FSB for some things and not for others, but that's what I understood it to mean, in a nutshell.