1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Intel's new Core i7 970 six-core CPU listed online

By Jos ยท 25 replies
Jul 16, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. As expected, Intel's second hexa-core processor is starting to emerge in online listings from retailers. The new Core i7 970 will reportedly be priced around $115 lower than the range-topping Core i7 980X in the U.S. and will feature slightly toned down specs such as 3.2GHz clock speeds as well as a locked multiplier. Otherwise both chips sport the same 12MB L3 cache, are compatible with socket LGA 1366 boards and -- of course -- have six cores and twelve threads.

    Read the whole story
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,094   +1,545

    I'm still at a loss as to why both AMD and Intel have gone the six-core route. Probably less than 5% of all commercial software can take advantage of four cores, much less six.
  3. @TomSEA For business more cores the better, especially with virtulisation. Also this is how tech progresses, no one is going to make software that uses 6 cores if there are no 6 core processors about. The software will eventually fit in around the hardware, its the way it has always been with newer tech that is taking a different route to the norm.
  4. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    this is actually incorrect.

    the majority of commercial users, meaning none home consumers users, are actually either enterprise or goverment users who require tons of processing power for server, back end data, and rendering. Especially rendering. the Entertainment industry alone uses mass amount of rendering for feature film production that always has a constant demand for more rendering capability. Time is money for these people, the less time it takes to render, the quicker they can deliver the render footages.

    I myself work in such industry, and you can never have enough cores, or enough rendering power. 3dMx, Maya, Softimage, AFX, NUKE...etc all eat up render nodes like crazy. if they can have a 20 core processor, everyone in the industry will be jumping on it.
  5. TomSea, and what would you have them do ? The frequency pretty much hit a hard wall at about 4 GHz, so you can't go much further on that end. The multicore architecture is not the next logical step, as they would like us to think, it's the only possible progression at this point.
  6. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,094   +1,545

    Thanks for the responses - I understand and agree with what everyone said. BUT...these chips are being marketed towards the home and small-business user where things like server, back-end data and rendering power is pretty much a moot point. Seriously, would you guess the percentage of home users that engage in those activities are? 2%? Maybe 3%?

    It's like 64-bit software. The capability has been around forever. I mean literally decades. But it wasn't until Windows 7 64-bit hit the shelves where it became "fashionable" to use.

    I'd just like to see more coordination between the hardware and software powers-at-be to implement these technology gains at a consistent pace.
  7. @TomSEA

    High doubt that its targeting Home users/Small Business. Its target is enthusiast and hardcore games. Home users/Small Business rarely built their own computers and are much less likely to purchase a $800 chip
  8. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    Catch-22 with x64. Software devs won't optimise for it until there was a large enough customer base to sell to, so obviously, without x64 software available, 64-bit OS's are slow to gain traction. QED.
    There is now quite a lot of x64 software becoming available, probably in large part due to Win7 uptake, but there will obviously be a lag between x64 OS adoption and software being made available.
    As far as I am aware, the more visible non-x64 apps (most commented upon) are freeware or shareware in any case, so maybe funding constraints apply (not to Flash player obviously).

    Regarding multi-core usage software...off the top of my head I can think of a few apps that lend themselves (and are indeed optimised for) multi-core CPU's:
    Cakewalk/Sonar , WinRAR, MS Office, Adobe Premiere Pro / Photoshop, Auto GK/MVK, Lame, POV-Ray, AutoCAD, DivX / Virtual Dub, TMPGEnc Xpress, GTA IV, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (all three games), Metro 2033, MS Visual Studio, Sony Vegas Pro and probably any number of other PC games, AV, modelling and office productivity apps. The easiest way to see if the program is making use of all cores/threads is to run in windowed mode and monitor CPU activity or use a G15 keyboard (my default kb) and monitor there.

    As for whether an Intel hexacore is a worthwhile investment....if a fraction of 1% of PC builders/upgraders use it then Intel would consider it worthwhile to market. From the consumer standpoint, a portion of users will undoubtably claim back tax if they can justify it (I know my customers would and will), the rest....well, maybe cashflow isn't a priority. If it were, the Extreme Edition CPU's would have died out long ago, Xeon CPU's wouldn't be validated for desktop boards, and no development/marketing of boards such as the SR-2, X58A-UD7/-9, Maximus, Rampage, Skulltrail, Big Bang etc, along with DDR3-2000+ RAM, Eyefinity 6 and any number of multi-GPU flavours, Lian Li Tyr and Tt Level 10 chassis, 1500w PSU's and assorted exotic cooling options.
  9. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    six cores, no waiting

    Hey Tom, :wave:
    I just ordered a Hex yesterday. I use a number of the programs Chef mentioned, and as I understand ( if im parsing it correctly), The nest gen og games are going to largely be coded to use the core access available. (well see how that ramps up). I got the AMD x6, even being an 'enthusiast' as it were, I still cant pry the wallet open for a G for a CPU....graphic cards yes....but not a CPU :p
  10. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    Intel once famously said that we would have 10 Ghz CPU's by 2011.

    And I've seen exotic overclock's of processors up to 5Ghz. Cooling is an issue with such an overlclock, but the point goes to show that this can be done.

    I'll accept the argument that it is easier to stack multiple CPU's on top of each other than it is to build a single faster core. But I'll remain on the side of the fence where we think that a faster single core processor is still viable in the future.
  11. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    146 CPU's compared...from hexacore to Pentium D (the closest you'll get to single-core in any recent comparison)

    You have pretty much negated your own stance with "Cooling is an issue with such an overlclock".
    Example 1: 8.2GHz single core...look at the voltage required, and the fact of the matter is the CPU is still constrained by single thread, and because of the architecture/instruction set is slower than a dual core Penryn CPU running at a quarter of that clockspeed.
    Example 2: If an 8.2GHz single core CPU represents good productivity, by what order of magnitude does a 7.4GHz quad core running a lower voltage exceed it?
    Example 3: Name a single core desktop CPU that is presently being manufactured, or is slated for introduction?

    An analogy....If you were moving house, which would accomplish the task quicker and more effectively? One person packing the boxes then lugging them to the U-haul (single core), one person and a friend that needs instruction (single core w/ HT), Two capable people (dual core), four people ( quad core), four people + a foreman to co-ordinate the U-haul loading (quad w/L3 cache), four/six people + four/six that need instruction + the foreman (quad/hex +HT w/L3 cache) or the last option with everyone assigned a room to clear and a detailed plan to make best use of the U-haul's available space to minimize the number of journeys needed ( quad/hex core + HT w/L3 cache and AVX) ?
  12. gwailo247

    gwailo247 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,007   +18

    You can buy a pretty decent computer for the price of one chip. But if you're looking at the enthusiast/gamer market, most people can spend that thousand bucks and get a high end video card, with 3 LCD monitors and get a sweet eyefinity setup, that will probably enhance their experience way more than 2 extra cores would.

    But as other posters said, this is a great solution for people for whom time is money. If you can cut down the length of a job by a 1/3, that chip is going to pay for itself very fast. But as a gamer I'd probably only buy this if I had a bleeding edge video card, and SSD Raid, and somehow the CPU was a bottleneck. Otherwise not that super useful for a home user, especially at a thousand bucks.
  13. Some people are daft. If it uses 4 cores it will usually use any core it can find..... Some ***people*** are just plain ignorant and need to be educated. Or at least look stuff up before making posts my 7 year old could laugh at.

    -edited by LNCPapa - let's keep it clean enough for all 7 year olds to read.
  14. orioncheung

    orioncheung TS Rookie

    "Core i5 760 with two cores clocked at 2.9GHz" Are you sure it isn't a quad core?
  15. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    If you were responding to my post, perhaps a little research on your part may be in order. games as of now will use 1-4 cores as they are coded. i wrote that there is a generation of games coming that will use any and all cores that available be it one core or eight. right now they do not. you can verify this by logging CPU activity while running a game (s) of your choice, and seeing the zero activity on the cores that the game will not make use of. if you do not How to do that, you can merely make note that the game performance will not improve with a CPU that has more cores than the game will make use of.
    keep your 7 year old laughing! :) and I hope you made feel better to come in and be bombastic and insulting though.
  16. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    C'mon red, does this "Guest" sound like anyone who could actually spell research, let alone conduct it. As it is I think they probably forgot to include either the word "brain" or "self" between "old" and "could".

    I think you'll find that pretty much all games based on the Unreal 3 engine are true multi-thread, Unreal 4 most definitely will be, along with any game that utilises Havok, Bullet or PhysX physics.
    Here's an example of the UE3 development from 2005....understandable that Guest isn't aware of it, since they were probably under 2 years old at the time.
  17. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    yep, part of the reason I purchased a hex, I have no idea how long this will take to be adopted by all, or the vast majority, but competition should do a nice job of driving that.
  18. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    Looking at the Steam hardware survey, I'd say that multi-core/multi-thread is pretty well established as of now.
    I certainly don't see many (if any) games released whose minimum requirements allow for P4/Celeron/Athlon/Sempron based systems.
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    what I am talking about Chef is using all the cores available ( should you have more than 4)
    say. most games don't use more than 3 as witnessed by the lack of CPU activity on the third or fourth core, depending on the game. What I have read is that soon, they will use any and all cores available.
    I read this and was very surprised by the CPU use of some of the modern Titles, especially STALKER...one core!?
    anyway, if you haven't seen this, have a gander.
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    True. most games don't look for, or utilise, all cores. On the other hand, Crysis excepted, how many games max out CPU core usage?
    I used to run MS FSX and that will happily run on four cores + HT, Mirror's Edge and Shattered Horizon I think did likewise. There are quite a few examples out there- this for instance, or BFBC2 w/ 980X - it's just that most people don't either look at CPU usage/optimisation (being bombarded by how graphics is the be all and end all) or don't realize that 6-12 threads doesn't neccessarily translate to faster gameplay (i.e. 8 threads using 25% usage as opposed to 4 threads using 50+% usage), and where multi-threading really comes into it's own, 99% of gamers don't see the fps advantage so dismiss it out of hand.

    Re: the bit-tech (and a few others including Tom's), which is what I was attempting (unsuccessfully) to get across with the Steam survey...basically, the vast majority of games are using 2 core CPU's (with quad gaining ground). What happens if you release a game that will max out more than 1-2 cores ? A game that is going to effectively (say 30-50%) use a third, fourth, fifth...twelfth thread is going to be how playable on an Athlon X2 or a Conroe duo ? My reference for multi-thread is not necessarily major (or even minor) usage, it's programming that can seek an available thread if it needs to complete an operation-whether that's an under-utilised thread , or one that is largely dormant.
    BTW: Bit-tech maybe should have checked CPU usage for CoP during map loading as well. Not such a biggie in CoP, but quite significant in ShoC and CS.

    **EDIT** (bit-tech article) the heavy physics (Havok) enviroment obviously playing a part in the core usage. Metro 2033 would have been an excellent title to test, and GTA IV might have been interesting as well.
    An interesting article on multithreaded game engine architectures...and the challenges of programming for an ever increasing amount of threads
  21. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    quite true, I do not own a game, and I have all of the new graphically demanding ones, that max out the cores they use, (if memory serves, not even crysis/warhead maxed out did). I have not looked at metro's CPU utilization though. I have noted the recommended requirements for some new games though, I think it was singularity that recommended a i7 with a GTX 480...my eyes about fell out of their sockets. I agree that using 20% of 12 cores has no advantage, probably a slight disadvantage to using three cores to close to capacity. Maybe to much Sweeney and Richards, but it reads as if the use of more than 4 cores (used significantly) may be here sooner rather than later. As far as making a game exclusive by writing it so it needs more cores than many have, I think that's already happening with 'max settings'
    on many games. my assertion is that the next gen of games will be written to have meaningful use of more than 3-4 cores. Now that's just 'drift getting' on my part....of course I was all set to purchase a Bulldozer last year :p, however I purchased my hex with no expectations of getting more FPS (in any game that is currently in release) beyond the fact that it will OC to 4.2 and help games that respond to Higher frequencies, well maybe Flight Sim.

    ***** EDIT, just saw the edit on your post Chef, Im going to log CPU utilization on my x3 720, and then the X6 (parts here on Monday) and see how they compare.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    Congratulations.....And Happy Computing.......

    For God's sake Red, quit making excuses, rationalization, justifications, and just shut up about it and be happy. All of us buy s*** because we are simply self indulgent. What is compelling you to try and make us think you're above that....?

    (You couldn't be rehearsing for breaking the news to the missus, now could you)?

    "Do you understand what new frontiers of computing this will open up for me hon"? (Oy, he muttered to himself while shaking his head, young people).
  23. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,840   +1,267

    I'd say that four cores might be entry-level for some PC games in the not to distant future. Intel are one step away from four cores being their basic package.
    That said, I think the basic problem with multithreading for games is that it's basically parallelism- and just like the problems faced by (nvidia) GPGPU's trying to supplant CPU's- it seems comes down to the fact that some computations can't be completely (at this stage) parallelised, or at least are extremely problematical ( can't give the car an oil change and drive it at the same time) so regardless of the number of threads you program for, you're still bound in some linear fashion...so maybe the game can gain in complexity (i.e. physics on cpu), but still be handicapped on outright fps (i.e. as shown by sims/RTS with complex modelling) due to queuing requirements in programming.....then of course I may be completely off base since I'm no programmer (with no desire to change that situation).
  24. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    well that was just hurtful....

    From this here post:

    Red said:

    I told the wife about the hexacore....now the $250 motherboard ?....need more practice...;)
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,696   +3,848

    That's My Story, and I'm Stickin' to It..........

    Sorry, I was just practicing for my inevitable move to India and a "career" in customer support.
    So, I suppose we could say that you want to get in touch with your inner, "child/geek" then? Also, there's the whole "admission absolves guilt" thing you're workin'.

    I think that this is the reason that many married men build their own PCs. It would be too hard to justify the cost at one shot. Just remember, it'll be another mission of supplication for the SSD, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera..........We'll be pullin' for ya.....:rolleyes: Now if you'll excuse me. I have a train wreck to watch,,,,, :wave:

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...