Strolling Through Lynnfield: Intel's New SuperFast SuperAffordable CPU! Part 9
The drawback to smaller and smaller manufacturing processes is that at these incredibly tiny sizes, electrons do some very strange things. The flow of electrons through a 32 nm "pipe" is nothing like it is in an older and much wider "piped" 180 nm process. It's almost as the older, larger silicon allowed electrons to act like water molecules. You turn on the tap and the water runs out. At these super tiny sizes, electrons tend to bounce around like boulders running down a concrete aqueduct. And even stranger still, some of them have a nasty tendency to materialize in places where you least expect them following the arcane laws of quantum mechanics!
At the current time, Westmere is widely expected to premiere featuring a fully integrated high functioning graphics core. What does that mean? Well, unless you are some absolutely rabid crazed gaming freak who needs to play the most complex video games ever created by homo sapiens and do so at 90 fps, you can kiss your video card goodbye. Yes, the GPU will now be integrated directly within the Westmere CPU, not on the motherboard or in a PCI slot card.
With Westmere comes the Intel H55 chipset which allows for motherboards to be engineered with full video out, such as DVI, HDMI and VGA... and all originating from the CPU, and not from an integrated video subcircuity graphics processing unit set on the motherboard or in an expansion card.
We're not talking 800 x 600 at 256 colors here. Westmere's GPU should be able to handily relegate all but the most rarefied and expensive video cards on the market to the dust bin of history.
Whew! That's some CPU. I continue to salivate onto my poor keyboard!
Of course, CPU clock cycles, bus speeds, and SYSMark 2007 Overall scores are not all there is to overall PC performance. One of the lessons that my Core i7 920 system has clearly taught me is that just like in the old days of street rods "there aint no substitute for cubic inches", in the world of the Core i X series, "there aint no substitute for lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of RAM!"
I don't care if you're running an Intel Atom or a Core i7 975, the bottom line is always that if you can add more RAM to your system, you will notice a clear increase in overall performance.
There is no need to address the fact that you definitely need a 64 bit Operating System to take advantage of all this RAM. If your system has 4 GB or more, you are wasting all that precious and wonderous RAM if you are still stuck on a 32 bit Operating System. Take the plunge to a 64 bit! I did and I love it!
My 64 bit Operating System allows me to use the full amount of RAM I have in my Core i7 920 system, a staggering 12 GB! And I can most certainly assure you that when you have worked on Photoshop in a 12 GB RAM environment, you will never go back to the teeny weentsy 32 bit RAM memory limitations.