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Strolling Through Lynnfield: Intel's New SuperFast SuperAffordable CPU! Part 4

Updated on September 13, 2009

The pricing gets totally crazy when it comes to the Core i5 660 vs. the Core i5 661! The Core i5 661 has graphics running at 733 MHz vs. 700 MHz in the Core i5 660. Although I doubt anyone can actually discern the difference, it's the same friggin' price. Well, of course I'll take the faster version Mr. Intel. Duh. I wonder if they should change their name to UnIntel.

The same massive stupidity occurs at the Core i7 960 and Core i7 950 level. 140 more MHz for the same money. I truly have to wonder why Intel hits you up for 80% more money to get 130 extra MHz from the Core i7 960 to Core i7 975 step, but just gives away 140 MHz when you go from a Core i7 950 to a Core i7 960!

What was that about Intel working in mysterious ways? Sheesh!

Yeah, I know that this pricing is not official yet, but this would hardly be the very first time in Intel (or AMD) history that the rumored price structure which is widely pooh poohed by the corporate publicists ends up being 100% prophetic, warts and all!

So does all this confuse the living daylights out of you? It does me! However, I do know that inside my case three feet from my elbow is a Core i7 920. This is a quad core 45 nm processor running at 2.666 GHz (I have mine Turbo'd up one multiplier, but not overclocked), and shares the same bus speed of 4.8 GT/s QPI as all the other i7 9xx series processors.

The Core i7 940 is identical to the 920 but runs at 2.933 GHz, and the 950 does 3.066 GHz. Given that the price of the 940 is almost double that of the 920, and the 950 way more expensive still, many prosumer enthusiasts such as myself have found that the Core i7 920 is by far the most bang for the buck in the entire Intel lineup.

Yeah, especially since if you blink you'll miss Intel killing off a CPU and the Core i7 940 is no more. Shed a tear. Not.

Now, take one quick glance at that crazy SKU proliferation and cockamamie pricing structure and you quickly see that there just very well may be one CPU that might challenge the mighty Core i7 920 for the value super performance championship of the universe. And that CPU is the Core i7 860.

Let's take a look at the SYSMark 2007 Overall scores for various Core i X processors included the dearly departed Core i7 940 and Core i7 965:

  • Core i7 975 - 251
  • Core i7 965 - 238
  • Core i7 950 - 234
  • Core i7 870 - 233
  • Core i7 940 - 229
  • Core i5 750 - 217
  • Core i7 920 - 214

OK, so even dyed in the wool Core i7 920 enthusiasts such as yours truly have to begrudgingly admit that the Core i7 870 is the new sweet spot in the Intel lineup. I admit it. My precious treasured Core i7 920 has been superceded by a new, young, zit faced upstart.

I'm shedding a tear now, but I can't possibly avoid the conclusion that progress is progress!

Continued In Strolling Through Lynnfield: Intel's New SuperFast SuperAffordable CPU! Part 5

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