Well, now that the holidays are over and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is nearly upon us, we are starting to see quite a bit of information leak out regarding new laptops and desktops from all the first tier manufacturers. Many of these new models will be sporting one of the new 32nm CPUs from Intel.
AnandTech has two good reviews up that are definitely worth a read if you are in the market for a fast, new machine for the new year. The first covers the 32nm mobile Arrandale CPU family, which has 11 separate models at launch. There are also new chipsets to go with these new CPUs. The gist of the review is that a similarly clocked 32nm Core i5-540M system pretty well smoked a 45nm Core2 Duo P8700 system, and delivered roughly equivalent battery life.
In case you were not aware, the Core2 Duo P8700 was one of the faster, commonly available Penryn-based mobile CPUs, definitely much faster than the garden variety T6600 CPU you see on so many machines at places like Best Buy. The Arrandale also includes much improved integrated graphics, on the same chip as the the CPU, compared to the previous generation of integrated graphics. All of this makes this platform a good choice for a fast, general purpose notebook.
The second review covers the seven new 32nm Clarksdale desktop processors and chipsets. These are designed to compete at the lower end of the market compared to the 45nm Nehalem or Lynnfield. They are called the Core i5 and Core i3 series. They are dual-core with hyper-theading, so you get up to four logical processors. The Core i5 gets Turbo mode, while the Core i3 does not. The conclusion of this review is that the Core i5 series is over priced, while the Core i3 series will be great for home theater PC systems (HTPC).
The release of these mobile and desktop 32nm Intel processors should mean that we are finally getting closer to seeing the 32nm Intel server CPUs becoming available, which will be very welcome for SQL Server 2008 R2.