Back in November Intel had formally launched the Core i7 series, but Linux benchmarks were not to be found. However, in the weeks that followed, results began to emerge through the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoronix Global. Over time there were many more Linux test results from the Phoronix Test Suite community, but now we have posted some of our own Intel Core i7 numbers from Ubuntu Linux.
By now most of you should be familiar with the Core i7 processor family, which is based upon Intel's Nehalem architecture. The Core i7 series was introduced with a new CPU socket, LGA-1366, which replaces the LGA-775 socket and is not backwards compatible. Like what has been done with AMD processors for years, with the CPU socket and new Core i7 series comes moving the memory controller onto the CPU die. The integrated memory controller supports three DDR3 memory channels. The Core i7 also introduces the QuickPath Interconnect interface as a competitor to AMD's HyperTransport for linking the processor to the X58 Chipset. The initial Core i7 processors are built with a 45nm process and have approximately 731 million transistors.
The current Core i7 processor selection includes the 920, 940, and 965 Extreme Edition. All three of these processors are quad-core parts, but Intel has brought back Hyper Threading, which means the logical core count is eight. For each of the four cores there is 256KB of L2 cache, while 8MB of L3 cache is shared between all of the cores. With Intel evidently not being interested in Linux results for their Core i7 series, we had received no review samples of the Core i7 series. However, we ended up purchasing an Intel Core i7 920 for this round of testing, which comes clocked at 2.66GHz. The Core i7 940 is clocked at 2.93GHz while the Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition runs at 3.20GHz. The Intel Core i7 920 currently retails for just above $280 USD.