There's a new kid in the Core i7 processor lineup, and Intel hasn't exactly shouted about it from the rooftops. Rather, we only noticed the Core i7-930 when checking the company's official price list; it turns out the CPU is also available at Newegg for $294.99 shipped, 99 cents over Intel's bulk pricing.
At that price, the i7-930 coexists with the Core i7-920 ($288.99 at Newegg, $284 in the price list) and the Core i7-860 ($279.99 at Newegg, also $284 in the price list). Here's how the three processors compare in terms of specifications:
|Speed||Turbo speed||L3 cache||QPI||Mem. controller||TDP|
|Core i7-920||4/8||2.66 GHz||2.93 GHz||8 MB||4.8 GT/s||Triple-channel||130 W|
|Core i7-930||4/8||2.80 GHz||3.06 GHz||8 MB||4.8 GT/s||Triple-channel||130 W|
|Core i7-860||4/8||2.80 GHz||3.46 GHz||8 MB||4.8 GT/s||Dual-channel||95 W|
The two Core i7-900 models have LGA1366 sockets, too, while the i7-860 works in cheaper LGA1156 motherboards. Aside from its missing memory channel, the i7-860 almost looks like a nicer alternative to the i7-930: higher Turbo Boost speed, lower thermal envelope, lower platform costs, and slightly lower price.
Of course, Intel is only competing with itself at this price point right now. AMD's fastest desktop processor, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition, retails for as little as $189.99 according to our price search engine. Only AMD's upcoming Thuban six-core processors seem poised to give the Core i7 line some competition.