While there's no doubt that Intel's Core i7 CPUs lead the field when it comes to performance, that power comes at a price. Performance enthusiasts on a budget have been patiently waiting for the cheaper Nehalem derivative Core i5 pieces to be officially announced.
The Core i5 (codenamed Lynnfield) is basically a Core i7 part with the third memory channel removed and the QuickPath interconnect dumped and replaced by a cheaper Direct Media Interface. These parts aren't far off now given that we saw plenty of P55 chipset motherboards (which feature the LGA1156 socket) at CeBit this year but Intel is still tight-lipped. However, tech site HKEPC has what is claimed to be speeds and pricing for the first batch of Core i5 processors.
There's three pieces listed:
- 2.66GHz, $196
- 2.80GHz, $284
- 2.93GHz, $562
For comparison, the Core i7 920 which ticks along at 2.66GHz retails for about $290 while the 2.93GHz 940 sells for $560. Given that the prices for the i5 parts quoted here seems rather high.
Like the Core i7 silicon, these pieces pack 8MB of L3 cache, and feature both HyperThreading and TurboBoost technology. The TDP is down from 130W that was standard for the i7 to a cooler 90W.