Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Intel CPUs: the i5 and new i7s

Looks like Intel's newest CPUs are arriving, and these new Core i7 and i5 have a lot to offer.

The people at MaximumPC have done an excellent detailed analysis of these new CPUs, but I'll leave you with some highlights.

These new i7 and i5 were designed with one thing in mind: cost reduction. While the existing i7 CPUs offer amazing performance, they're also quite expensive - being reserved for the "high-end" range of the market, like professional use and hardcore gamers.
In the new series, some of its specs were tweaked - gone is the triple-channel memory; while the PCI-e controller is now integrated in the CPU - allowing the design of much cheaper motherboards.

While a bit more restricted, this configuration allows you to have amazing performance (similar and even better than the older i7-920) at a much lower price point. This will do for most people - leaving the "hardcore" segment with their higher performance X58 motherboards for full SLI power, etc.

One of the major issues is: these new i7 and i5 use a new socket: the LGA1156.This means that you can now have an i7 CPU that doen's fit a i7 motherboard (I think this was a bad move by Intel - but, they'll have their reasons.)

Now, you'll have to check if your i7 has a LGA1156 or the "regular" LGA1366 socket.
The LGA1156 will be a lot cheaper; but if you're planning on upgrading your CPU next year, for something like the upcoming i9 6-core/12-threads CPUs... you'll need to use the LGA1366.

However, for most people, the amazing performance/price ratio of these new i7/i5 processors will surely make them irresistible.

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