Retailer to ship laptops with Intel's Core i7 chips

PC retailer Eurocom has said it will ship laptops with Intel's Nehalem-based Core i7 processor.

In an unlikely union of technologies, PC retailer Eurocom has said it will ship laptops powered by Intel's Core i7 processor, which the chip maker has dubbed the "fastest processor on this planet."

The Eurocom D900F Phantom i7 will include Intel's Nehalem-based quad-core Core i7 chips, which are typically put in servers and high-end gaming desktops. The laptops will ship on May 1, according to the Canadian PC retailer's Web site.

The laptop's Core i7 920, 940 and 965 processors will run at speeds from 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz and include 8MB of L2 cache. Intel launched the Core i7 chips in November and since then the chip has been praised for its speedy performance.

Calling it the "world's first notebook with i7 processor," Eurocom is targeting the laptop workstation as a desktop workstation replacement. It will include the X58 chipset and an Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU) to boost graphics performance.

It will have a 17-inch screen and support up to 1.5TB of storage, 8GB of DDR3 memory and 1GB of graphics memory. It will also include wireless 802.11a/b/g/n technology and a webcam. It will ship with either the Windows Vista or Linux OS.

The laptop will weigh a whopping 11.9 pounds (5.4 kilograms), and it will come with a 12-cell battery. Pricing was not immediately available, though users can expect to dig deep into their wallets considering the use of new technologies in the laptop.

If Eurocom indeed ships the laptop, it could be the fastest Intel-based x86 laptop on the planet. Core i7 chips are built on the Nehalem microarchitecture, which includes the QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) technology. QPI integrates a memory controller and provides a faster pipe for the CPU to communicate with system components like a graphics card and other chips.

Each core will be able to execute two software threads simultaneously, so a laptop with four processor cores could simultaneously run eight threads for quicker application performance.

Nehalem chips are a significant upgrade over Intel's Core 2 chips, which are currently used in desktops and laptops. The new chips cut bottlenecks of Intel's earlier Core microarchitecture to improve system speed and performance-per-watt.

Though Core i7 isn't targeted at laptops, Intel intends to scale down the Nehalem architecture for other chips that will go in mainstream desktops and laptops. Intel will also integrate graphics capabilities in the CPU down the line, which should bring more power-efficiency to laptops. However, gamers might need a separate graphics card for better graphics performance.

Intel has said it will release laptop-specific Nehalem chips in the second half of this year.

Many companies including Lenovo and Dell offer laptop workstations. Last month Lenovo launched the ThinkPad W700DS mobile workstation that has two LCD screens.

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