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 - Second Generation

Although the memory benchmarks presented in this paper are for the first generation of Nehalem processor, we feel that this is an excellent place to put information on the other generations. Here's what we have on the second generation of Nehalem processors

There are four different classes of second generation Nehalem processor. These classes will be individually discussed below.

The first class is the Core-i5 (Lynnfield). These processors support two memory channels at up to 666MHz, with up to two unbuffered single-rank or dual-rank memory modules per channel. They do not support ECC, and are targeted at mainstream desktop systems. The following processors are in this class:

Core-i5
Processor Clock
Cache
Cores
Hyper-Threading
TDP
TurboBoost
2.66GHz
8MB
4
No
95W
1-1-5-5

The second class is the Core-i7 (Lynnfield). These processors support two memory channels at up to 666MHz, with up to two unbuffered single-rank or dual-rank memory modules per channel. They do not support ECC, and are targeted at mainstream desktop systems. The following processors are in this class:

Core-i7
Processor Clock
Cache
Cores
Hyper-Threading
TDP
TurboBoost
2.80GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
1-1-4-5
2.93GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
2-2-4-5

The third class is the Uni-Processor Xeon (Lynnfield). These processors support two memory channels at up to 666MHz, with 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. Unlike the 5500 series CPUs (Gainstown), these CPUs only support x8 and x16 memory configurations (8 or 16 bits per memory chip - the 5500 series CPUs support 4, 8 or 16 bits per memory chip). They support ECC (required), 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
TurboBoost
1.86GHz
8MB
4
Yes
45W
2-2-9-10
2.40GHz
8MB
4
No
95W
1-1-2-3
2.53GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
1-1-2-3
2.66GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
1-1-4-4
2.80GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
1-1-4-5
2.93GHz
8MB
4
Yes
95W
2-2-4-5

The fourth class is the mobile processor (Clarksfield - both the Standard and the Extreme). These processors support two memory channels at up to 666MHz, with one unbuffered single-rank or dual-rank memory module per channel. They do not support ECC, and are targeted at high-end laptop systems. The following processors are in this class:

Core-i7
Processor Clock
Cache
Cores
Hyper-Threading
TDP
TurboBoost
1.60GHz
6MB
4
Yes
45W
1-1-6-9
1.73GHz
8MB
4
Yes
45W
2-2-8-10
2.00GHz
8MB
4
Yes
55W
2-2-8-9

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