Goodness gracious great processors of fire... can you believe it has been nearly a year ago since Intel released the dazzling Core i7 series processor? What an instant hit directly from the start they were. The problem with Core i7 however is that it is a slightly expensive platform, especially in combination with X58 chipset based motherboards... also your average X58 motherboard will set you back a good 250 USD alone, add to that the cheapest 289 USD'ish Core i7 920 processor and then well, you'd still need to build the rest of the PC.
So while Core i7 started to dominate and glorify the top enthusiast segment of the market, in the past year the mainstream to high-end segment was left alone. The current Core 2 Duo and Quad processors are plenty competitive and as such Intel simply did not introduce new processors and motherboard chipsets. For me as a technology journalist that was a weird thing to see. Was Intel in a comfort zone? Did they want to sit out the economic crisis or just maximize the Core 2 series revenue stream? We'll never really know but it certainly took a very long time before we noticed some new products.
Meanwhile, facing the same economic crisis and haunted by a processor bug, AMD had to readapt, refocus, redesign and reintroduce their Phenom series processors. Boy what rough water they had to sail, as right after the TLB bug was fixed, the economy crashed. But hats off to them, ever since the beginning of 2009 AMD started to sell Phenom II processors that were finally able to compete with chipzilla's processors, and with good success. And that is important as the market could never function properly without some kind of competition.
Today the turn goes back to Intel. They are introducing the P55 motherboard chipset and no less than three new Nehalem based Lynnfield processors, with many more to follow in the upcoming months. Today's product releases are targeted at the higher segment of the mainstream market, what you read about today can hardly be called cheap or 'very' affordable, with one exception.
Two out of the three Lynnfield processors introduced today are actually positioned and classified in the Core i7 range of processors, and just one processor is an actual Core i5 series processor.
They all have several key features in common. They come with a lovely 95 Watt TDP, are Nehalem (Core i7 family architecture) based and yes... they come with that new much discussed package on Socket LGA 1156.
Yeah chaps, we have a lot to talk about and to show you, of course. We'll separate the P55 motherboard chipset and the three new processors into two articles, this article will cover Core i7 870, Core i7 860 and Core i5 750. Another article will cover the P55 chipset and overclocking experience with an MSI motherboard and then later this week more reviews on P55 motherboards from names like ASUS, Gigabyte and ECS.
So with that said, let us quickly head on over to the next page where we'll start off with this processor review article. Hihooo Lynnfield, here we come...
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Core i5 655K and Core i7 875K processor review Intel today releases two new processors targeted at a somewhat more enthusiast audience. Yes, processors for tweakers and overclockers. On socket LGA 1156 Intel now releases two K series processors. The 32nm Intel Core i5-655K processor has the very same specifications as the Core i5 650; it will operate at 3.2 GHz, will feature two cores with Hyper-Threading technology, sport 4MB of L3 cache and will be made using 32nm process technology. The difference between the 650 and 655K is the unlocked multiplier only. Then we have the enthusiast class Intel Core i7-875K processor, it has the very same specifications as the Core i7 870; it will operate at 2.93GHz, will feature four cores with Hyper-Threading technology, sport 8MB of L3 cache and will be made using 45nm process technology. The only difference between the two central processing units (CPUs) will be the unlocked multiplier on the 875K chip, which will allow overclockers and enthusiasts to easily boost clock-speed of the product without the necessity of overclocking other parts of their systems.