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[NehalemNews] Rumor - Nehalem Motherboards to use 8-layer PCB

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Fudzilla is reporting that Nehalem motherboards may be 8-layer rather than 6-layer PCB's initially, although even they admit that it's still early as Nehalem is 5-6 months away and a lot of manufacturing improvements can be made in that time.

Of course, a key aspect contributing to this is the added complexity of the Bloomfield platform with it's triple channel DDR3. Memory trace length matching is a critical design consideration for motherboard manufacturing and the added memory channel poses some additional challenges with respect to layout and satisfying trace length specifications.

A similar transition from 4-layer to 6-layer PCB's occured with the introduction of dual-channel DDR memory so this is not really a surprise. Incidentally many server motherboards use 8-layers or more due to their complex designs and memory capacities.

The implications of an 8-layer PCB is that the board will be stiffer, heavier, and more expensive. Some might consider a stiffer motherboard a good thing. I know I do as I like to apply a lot of mounting force to my water blocks and typical 6-layer boards just bend too easily for my liking.

Finally, I thought I would take this opportunity to point out that some initial Bloomfield boards may only come with a single slot per channel... i.e. 3 or 4 memory slots with the 4th slot being a bonus slot tied to one of the three memory channels (as shown in the engineering sample board below). This is due to the challenges of fitting what would otherwise be 6 full DDR3 memory slots on a fully populated board while still meeting ATX board specs.
http://www.nehalemnews.com/2008/05/r...-to-use-8.html

I linked to virtualrain's excellent blog instead because I thought he did a nice job with removing the paranoia and scare from the Fud article, and deduce some actual information from it.
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post #2 of 9
so what does this mean for high-end boards? 10 layers? 12?
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChielScape View Post
so what does this mean for high-end boards? 10 layers? 12?
Guess were going to be saying hello to $500 boards.
    
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheetos316 View Post
Guess were going to be saying hello to $500 boards.
$500? If you're lucky. This seems to be a little larger in scale than that.
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post #5 of 9
What is the current thinking as to the relative performance of Nehalem to current C2D?

Last I've heard, it is a more dramatic change than the change from P4 to C2D.

(Justification of $500++ motherboards aside)

To the end user in terms of programs, games, general performance and start-up times, will Nehalem be revolutionary?
    
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffsr View Post
What is the current thinking as to the relative performance of Nehalem to current C2D?

Last I've heard, it is a more dramatic change than the change from P4 to C2D.

(Justification of $500++ motherboards aside)

To the end user in terms of programs, games, general performance and start-up times, will Nehalem be revolutionary?
No.
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post #7 of 9
RickJS HAS SPOKEN!
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by duffsr View Post
What is the current thinking as to the relative performance of Nehalem to current C2D?

Last I've heard, it is a more dramatic change than the change from P4 to C2D.

(Justification of $500++ motherboards aside)

To the end user in terms of programs, games, general performance and start-up times, will Nehalem be revolutionary?
Nehalem is more of a change in design than raw horsepower. I've heard 10-30% improvement depending on the app.
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post #9 of 9
more layers = more expensive = <-- me
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