Cakewalk DAW Labs Processor Spotlight: Generation 2 Intel Core i7

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In 2009 Intel released the Core i7 line of processors to a lot of well deserved fanfare. They blew away previous performance benchmarks and took productivity to a new level. System builders and software developers were instantly aware of the new benefits and adopted the design in short order.

Now, just 2 short years later, Intel has debuted their Generation 2 Core i7 processors and lightening has struck twice. While the newest chips aren't a complete redesign, Intel has added some significant muscle and trimmed the fat on their heavyweight contender. Newer industrial production techniques and innovations in multi-thread application development have given the Core i7 another step ahead of the competition.

You'll see two speeds for the Generation 2 Processors. The i7-2600S which clocks in at 2.8Ghz and the i7-2600 which roars by at an authoritative 3.4Ghz. Both chips deliver 4 cores and 8 threads. Below is a quick run down of the main features you stand to gain by choosing the newest generation of Core i7 processors.

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Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 -
Intel has optimized the Turbo Boost Technology to provide even more performance. The processor can dynamically increase it's clock speed over the base rating for short times, if the operating power, current, and temperature are below specification limits. This benefits applications like SONAR when you're multi-tracking at high audio resolutions, allowing the system to meet the demand placed upon it.  Read all the details here.

Intel Smart Cache - Each individual processor core in the Generation 2 Core i7 can dynamically access 100% of the available processor cache, while increasing the throughput rate at which it can access previously stored data. If one core has a higher cache requirement than another, the processor will change the cache preferences on the fly, placing important information closer to the active core. In general terms, processors with faster and more readily available cache will increase your application performance. Here's an informative animation on this technology.

32nm Logic Technology - Pushing the boundaries of manufacturing technology and keeping pace with Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's predictions, 32nm technology has helped double the transistors on a processor from even just a few years ago. This has resulted in a more powerful and cost effective solution for the consumer and professional market. The Generation 2 Core i7 is just the latest example of Intel's continued processor innovations. Dig deeper into 32nm Technology.

Intel Advanced Vector Extensions - AVX is a new set of 256-bit instructions which where added to the existing SSE instruction set. This new feature is designed for applications that are Floating Point (FP) intensive. The end result is improved data management in applications designed for audio and video processing. More details can be found here.

64-bit Ready - All of Intel's Generation 2 Core i7 chips are Windows 7 64-bit ready so you can take advantage of over 4GB of RAM as well as SONAR's 64-bit native environment.

For more information on CPU's and building your own computer please visit theDAW Labs - Build a Computer home page

Article #1002, 5/9/2011 Version: 1.00
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