I've written quite a bit about Intel's upcoming Core i5 "Lynnfield" processors which are cut-down versions of the Core i7 silicon powerhouse. Core i5 has been in the pipeline for a while now, and has even been delayed, but now that ASUS has bought out a Core i5-compatible motherboard, processors can't be far behind.
The ASUS motherboard, the P7P55D EVO, is a Socket LGA1156 motherboard based around the P55 chipset. The board is overall a simpler design to the X58-based Socket LGA1366 aimed at the Core i7. There's no QPI to support, dual-channel memory instead of triple-channel, and a simpler PCIe layout. This means that Core i5 systems have cheaper motherboards, RAM and CPUs when compared to Core i7 systems.
It's going to be interesting to see what happens once Core i5 is out. My guess is that it will put a lot of pressure on the high-end Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors, and that we may even see Intel cull a number of pieces to make room for Core i5. It's also clear that i5 will put a lot of pressure on AMD too.
But it's equally important to note that Core i5 and Core i5 are fundamentally different. While Core i5 represents a significant architecture shift, and swill offer a lot more performance and power compared to the Core 2 line, it lacks the expensive that makes Core i7 special. It's important that users don't think of i5 as being just a slower version of the i7. It's not. It'll also be important for users to know that there won't be an upgrade path between i5 and i7.
Anyone here holding out on buying a PC until i5 is out?