It appears that yet another unannounced Intel processor has trickled down to the hands of testers a bit early. Not long after posting their preview of a hexacore Gulftown CPU, Chinese site HKEPC brings us a slew of information about the upcoming mainstream desktop variants known as Clarkdale, and included some Core i3 benchmark numbers for good measure.
These will be the first processors from Intel to come with a graphics core built into the same package and are part of the Westmere family of chips - basically a 32nm die-shrink of the current 45nm Nehalem architecture. The article lists specs and pricing details for all Clarkdale parts scheduled to debut in the first quarter of 2010 - under the Core i3, Core i5 and Intel Pentium brands.
Featuring 2 cores and 4 threads with Hyper-threading enabled, no less than four Core i5 chips are planned for early next year, with clock speeds ranging from 3.2 to 3.46GHz and prices between $176 and $284. All of them feature 4MB of L3 cache and Turbo Boost support for some additional performance during peak processing. Moving on there will be two similarly outfitted Core i3 derivatives, clocked at 2.93 and 3.06GHz with prices of $123 and $143 respectively, but lacking Turbo Boost support. Lastly, an $87 Pentium G6950 should round things up with 2.8GHz clock speeds, a smaller 3MB of L3 cache and no Turbo Boost or Hyper-threading.
This seems to be consistent with roadmap information we posted last month. Mind you, Intel will also be offering Core i5 chips with the 45nm quad-core Lynnfield design - set to arrive in little over two weeks - so there is bound to be some confusion over which is what. You may take comfort in the fact that they both will be socket LGA 1156 compatible, but to make use of Clarkdale's IGP you will need an H55 or H57-based motherboard with Intel FDI (Flexible Display Interface) support - as opposed to a P55-based board.
But I digress. Going back to HKEPC's tests, the site compares a Core i3 540 running at 3.06GHz with a slightly overclocked Core 2 Duo E8400 and a pair of un-productized Havendale and Clarkdale samples. As it turns out, the Core i3 chip easily comes on top in all but three or four of the tests - which included a range of suites like PC Mark Vantage, Cinebench R10 and Sandra 2009. Power consumption also sees an improvement; while on the graphics front, the Core i3's built-in GPU outscores the current Intel GMA X4500HD, but is still slower than Nvidia's GeForce 9400. Check out the complete report here.