Core i7 processors, motherboard are now available

Our source wasn't far off: Intel's new Core i7 processors and a handful of matching motherboards quietly appeared on Newegg's website yesterday afternoon. The e-tailer currently stocks the Core i7-920 for $320, the Core i7-940 for $600, and the Core i7-965 Extreme for $1,070—between $36 and $71 higher than the tray prices Intel announced when the chips launched earlier this month. These CPUs haven't yet appeared at NCIX in Canada or on our price search engine, though.

On the motherboard front, the Core i7 CPUs' new LGA1366 sockets, QuickPath architectures, and integrated triple-channel memory controllers call for new mobos. Newegg sells eight compatible offerings based on the Intel X58 Express chipset. MSI has the cheapest one by far at just $221, but other models will set you back as much as $399. Ouch.

Chuck in a 3GB or 6GB triple-channel DDR3 memory kit, and the cost of a Nehalem upgrade works out to $666-790 with the 2.66GHz Core i7-920. In other words, be prepared to pay the price of a full gaming system for just the processor, motherboard, and memory. Assuming you actually run software that can tap into the Core i7's phenomenal performance potential, however, you may not regret it. Check out our reviews of the Core i7 launch trio and two X58 Express motherboards for all the details.

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