Intel plans unlocked Clarkdale or Lynnfield CPU

— 9:20 AM on March 4, 2010

AMD has been dabbling in affordable, overclocker-friendly processors for a while now with its Black Edition CPUs. reports that Intel will soon follow suit with a Clarkdale or Lynnfield processor featuring an unlocked upper multiplier and lower pricing than Extreme Edition offerings.

How did the Dutch site get this information? The report quotes Intel chipset marketing chief Steve Peterson, who said his company is "considering new affordable models to introduce overclocking." The executive didn't provide specifics, but he reportedly said to expect something "very soon."

This wouldn't be Intel's first unlocked CPU. As points out, an unlocked Pentium E6500K processor made its way into the Chinese market last year. This time, the site says, Intel will release the unlocked Lynnfield or Clarkdale model in Europe, so we might end up seeing it in North America, as well.

AMD currently has quad-core Black Edition processors priced at $156, $161, and $186. There's also a dual-core Phenom II X2 selling for $106. So, it would make at least a little bit of sense for Intel to release an unlocked Core i3, Core i5, or perhaps even Core i7 in that same price range. Admittedly, though, Intel's locked processors already overclock fabulously; we got the $120 Core i3-530 from its base 2.93GHz up to a staggering 4.4GHz in our labs.

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