Nehalem Memory Speed Information

The memory controller in Intel's new Nehalem processor is a radical departure from previous Intel processor architectures, in that the processor die now contains a memory controller. As a result of this change, much of the system builder community is confused as to the proper memory speed to use for Nehalem processors.

This paper provides information to system builders so that the proper memory can be selected.

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This information is extracted from Intel documentation. It is correct, to the best of our knowledge, as of the time it was written.
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Processor Specifications - First Generation

There are three different classes of first generation Nehalem processor. All three classes will be individually discussed below.

The first class is the Core-i7 (Bloomfield - both the standard and the Extreme). This was the first class of Nehalem processor released. These processors support up to two unbuffered single-rank or dual-rank memory modules per channel. They have a single QPI (Quick Path Interconnect) link, do not support ECC, and are targeted at high-performance desktop systems. The following processors are in this class:

Core-i7
Processor Clock
Cache
Cores
Hyper-Threading
TDP
QPI Speed
Memory Clock
TurboBoost
2.66GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
2.93GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
3.06GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
3.20GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
3.20GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
6.4GT/S
533MHz unlocked
1-1-1-2
3.33GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
6.4GT/S
533MHz unlocked
1-1-1-2

The second class is the Uni-Processor Xeon (Bloomfield - the same as the Core-i7). These processors support up to two unbuffered single-rank or dual-rank memory modules per channel. They have a single QPI link, support ECC, and are targeted at entry-level workstations and servers. The following processors are in this class:

Uni-Processor Xeon
Processor Clock
Cache
Cores
Hyper-Threading
TDP
QPI Speed
Memory Clock
TurboBoost
2.40GHz
4MB
2
No
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
None
2.53GHz
4MB
2
No
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
None
2.66GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
2.93GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
3.06GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
3.20GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
4.8GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
3.20GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
1-1-1-2
3.33GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
1-1-1-2

The third class is the Dual-Processor Xeon (Gainstown). These processors support up to two unbuffered single-rank or dual-rank memory modules per channel or up to three registered single-rank, dual-rank or quad-rank memory modules per channel. They have two QPI links, support ECC (required for registered memory modules), and are targeted at high-end workstations and servers. The following processors are in this class:

Dual-Processor Xeon
Processor Clock
Cache
Cores
Hyper-Threading
TDP
QPI Speed
Memory Clock
TurboBoost
1.86GHz
4MB
2
No
80W
4.8GT/S
400MHz
None
2.00GHz
4MB
4
No
80W
4.8GT/S
400MHz
None
2.13GHz
4MB
4
No
80W
4.8GT/S
400MHz
None
2.13GHz
4MB
4
No
60W
4.8GT/S
400MHz
None
2.00GHz
8MB
2
Yes
38W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
0-0-2-3
2.13GHz
8MB
4
Yes
60W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
1-1-2-2
2.26GHz
8MB
4
Yes
80W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
1-1-2-2
2.26GHz
8MB
4
Yes
60W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
1-1-2-2
2.40GHz
8MB
4
Yes
80W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
1-1-2-2
2.40GHz
8MB
4
Yes
60W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
1-1-2-2
2.53GHz
8MB
4
Yes
80W
5.86GT/S
533MHz
1-1-1-2
2.66GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
2-2-3-3
2.80GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
2-2-3-3
2.93GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
2-2-3-3
3.20GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
1-1-1-2
3.33GHz
8MB
4
Yes
130W
6.4GT/S
666MHz
1-1-1-2

Some Uni-Processor motherboards are capable of supporting the Dual-Processor CPUs.

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