Gulftown gets tested early

Overclocked to 4GHz

IT’S NOT ALWAYS journalists or bloggers that get their hands on new gear first, as is evident in this case. A forum member at Bit-tech who goes under the handle of windwithme that has run a good selection of benchmarks on the upcoming Gulftown CPU, which is expected to be the next Extreme Edition processor from Intel.

The CPU was tested on Gigabyte’s recently launched X58A-UD7 motherboard, which is Gigabyte’s new flagship product. He also threw in three Nvidia GTX260 cards for some SLI action and 6GB of Corsair’s latest Dominator GT DDR3 memory at 2.1GHz. So the question you’re most likely asking now is, was it fast? Well, yes, but obviously not fast enough as he decided to overclock the CPU to 4025MHz from an unknown stock speed.

The benchmark figures in threaded applications are blisteringly fast. Take Cinebench R10 for example. The Core i7 975 Extreme Edition running at 4270MHz manages to score a not insignificant 24,825 points, which is pretty impressive. However, Gulftown beats that score by over 7,000 points at 31,983. What’s also interesting to note is that the single-threaded performance isn’t nearly as good, as the Core i7 925EE manages 6,145 points whereas the Gulftown CPU only manages 5,662 points.

The other benchmark scores aren’t quite as impressive, especially not the 3DMark Vantage scores, since the GTX260 cards aren’t exactly the fastest thing out there, even in three way SLI mode, so there’s very little to say about these results. Windwithme is also complaining that most applications only load four to eight of the six cores plus the six Hyperthreaded cores – you can see the twelve threads in the task manager in one of the screen shots. This could be part of the reason why the Gulftown CPU doesn’t excel in all of the benchmarks.

Most people won’t be able to afford this new CPU, since we expect it to retail for Intel’s standard Extreme Edition price of $999. Hopefully AMD’s six-core CPUs will offer better value for money for those who are looking for CPU support for hexa-threaded applications. Intel’s Gulftown CPU is expected to launch some time in March. S|A

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