Ever since the arrival of new Lynnfield Core i5 and i7-800 processors, the lower end of the LGA1366 spectrum has looked a little redundant. Specifically, the Core i7-920 is selling for almost exactly the same as the new Core i7-860, which has a higher base clock speed, tighter power envelope, and more potent Turbo Boost capabilities.
Intel may very well end up discontinuing the i7-920, but perhaps that won't involve leaving a gaping hole in the LGA1366 lineup. Rather, the folks at Bit-Tech claim to have it on good authority that Intel will introduce a Core i7-930 processor next quarter. That CPU will reportedly run at 2.88GHz (up from 2.66GHz for the i7-920), and it will cost the same as its predecessor.
Benchmarks around the web show the LGA1156 Core i7-860 tends to be faster overall than the i7-920, so the i7-930 might close the gap. However, consumers will still have to pay more for LGA1366 motherboards and triple-channel memory kits, which still ought to give the i7-860 the value advantage, nonetheless. Maybe the i7-930 will seduce users in need of the X58 chipset's beefier multi-GPU support, though.
In any case, this rumor doesn't sound implausible. Intel already followed a similar course of action when it recently launched the Core i7-960, a replacement for the i7-950 that had trouble standing up to the new i7-870 at the same price point. (Thanks to TR reader Mister Burke for the link.)
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