The i7-930, which was released in 2010; and the i7-960, which made its debut in 2009, are two of the entries in semiconductor manufacturer Intel Corp.’s top-level i7 division of its flagship Core processor brand. Apart from their clock (or processing) speeds and their release dates, there are no differences between the two central processing units for desktop PCs, which belong to the i7-900 series.
Design and Manufacture
Using the 45 nanometer manufacturing process, each Intel Core i7-930 and i7-960 is a quad-core processor, with four cores or processor units. The cores are placed on a wafer of semiconductor material called a die, which measures 263 square millimeters and contains 731 million processing transistors. The CPUs are fitted on a socket called FCLGA1366. The CPU socket is named after the 1,366 pins that accommodate the computer chips, and FCLGA is an acronym for its form factor: Flip Chip Land Grid Array. This means the back of the CPU is flipped upward, so a heat sink can be placed on it to dissipate heat.
Speeds and Cache
The clock speed of the Intel Core i7-930 is 2.8GHz, while that of the Core i7-960 surpasses it at 3.2GHz. However, with Intel’s QuickPath Interconnect link, both processors have a data transfer rate of 4.8 gigatransfers, or 4.8 billion transfers, per second. The Core i7-930 and i7-960 have an 8-MB Intel Smart Cache, a tiny memory bank used for high-speed access to the computer’s most frequently used data.
Power and Memory Parameters
Each Intel Core i7-930 and Core i7-960 has a peak power consumption of 130 watts, and operates within a range of 0.8 to 1.375 volts. The CPUs are compatible with third-generational Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic Random Access Memory architecture, or DDR3 SDRAM, which should have a memory access speed of 800MHz or 1,066MHz. A computer using the i7-930 or i7-960 can have up to three memory channels, maximum system memory of 24GB, and peak memory bandwidth of 25.6 GB/s.
Each Intel Core i7-930 and i7-960 has Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which the CPU uses to increase its base clock speed when the computer requests optimal performance. Thus, the clock speed of the i7-930 and i7-960 can be boosted to a peak of 3.06GHz and 3.46GHz, respectively. The processors also use a 64-bit instruction set and are compatible with versions of the Streaming SIMD Extensions instructions set up to 4.2. Other technologies include SpeedStep for optimal performance without compromising energy efficiency, Virtualization for integrating multiple computer environments, Hyper-Threading for multitasking, and Execute Disable Bit for hardware-based security.