Mid-range Core i7 derivative pictured

We've been focusing a good part of our attention on upcoming Core i7 processors, but as far as rumor sites say, those chips will cost upward of $284 and fit in high-end motherboard with three DDR3 channels. Users with tighter budgets may have to wait until the third quarter of 2009, when Intel will supposedly introduce a cheaper Nehalem variant code-named Lynnfield.

Today, we've noticed that JCornell from the XtremeSystems Forums has posted several pictures of what he says is a Lynnfield prototype. Those photos show the chip next to a current LGA775 CPU and an LGA1366 Core i7 prototype, and they certainly look authentic. The Lynnfield CPU has a smaller package than the Core i7's, but it's still a little bit larger than the 45nm Core 2 Quad in the pictures. Also, the contacts on the back of the Lynnfield package have the same slanted profile as those on the Core i7 CPU, but there are fewer of them.

According to recent whispers from the rumor mill, Lynnfield will have four cores, Hyper-Threading support, 8MB of cache, and support for two channels of DDR3 memory. Pricing may start below $200, and one would assume Lynnfield will go in cheaper motherboards with fewer DIMM slots than high-end Core i7 mobos like the Asus P6T Deluxe. The different package should require a different socket, at least.

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