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Intel's first Core i5 and new Core i7s benchmarked

Within a year, Intel launched the first Core i7 processors. This processor is based on the revolutionary Nehalem architecture. The original Bloomfield-design Core i7 CPUs are hard to justify because of the initial high price of the LGA1366 motherboards and triple-channel DDR3 memory kits it required.

Intel's plan was always for LGA1366 to be for high-end systems, however, and later planned to release a lower-cost platform to fit between Core 2 and Core i7. The new Lynnfield CPUs are designed to fill that gap. It has only a dual-channel DDR3 memory controller to keep down the cost of upgrading.

The socket for Lynnfield has 1,156 pins because of the fewer connections between CPU and memory than LGA1366. The resulting LGA1156 processor socket is midway in size between LGA1336 and LGA775, and has different mounting holes to those of LGA1366 and LGA775. This means that you'll also need a new cooler for an LGA1156 motherboard.

The Lynnfield CPUs are functionally identical.

Each of the four cores has:
  1. A 32KB instruction
  2. A 32KB data Level 1 cache
  3. A 256KB of Level 2 cache
  4. The four cores share an inclusive 8MB Level 3 cache
  5. The £441 Core i7-870 is clocked at 2.93GHz
  6. The £225 Core i7-860 at 2.8GHz
  7. The £155 Core i5-750 at 2.66GHz
Improvements over a Bloomfield Core i7:
  1. Integrated PCI Express controller
  2. This CPU can communicate directly with a graphics card as compared to the previous CPUs that required an external chip
  3. It is designed to be a mainstream choice
  4. It can split these to provide two graphics cards with eight lanes of bandwidth each
  5. It supports both SLI and CrossFire
Core i5 and LGA1156 Core i7 details
  1. Frequency: 2.66GHz (i5-750), 2.8GHz (i7-860), 2.93GHz (i7-870)
  2. Core: Lynnfield
  3. Packaging: LGA1156
  4. L1 cache: 32KB L1 data, 32KB L1 instruction per core
  5. L2 cache: 256KB per core, inclusive
  6. L3 cache: 8MB accessible by all cores, inclusive
  7. QPI: 4.8GT/sec
  8. Memory: Dual-channel unbuffered DDR3-1,333MHz
  9. TDP: 95W
Prices :

Core i5-750
  1. UK Price (as reviewed): £155 (inc VAT)
  2. US Price (as reviewed): $199.99 (ex Tax) MSRP
Core i7-860
  1. UK Price (as reviewed): £225 (inc VAT)
  2. US Price (as reviewed): $299.99 (ex Tax)
Core i7-870
  1. UK Price (as reviewed): £441 (inc VAT)
  2. US Price (as reviewed): $579.99 (ex Tax)