Possibly unlocked Core i7 lands in BIOS list

Details are leaking out about new Intel processors, too. The folks at the XtremeSystems forums have found a Gigabyte BIOS support list that mentions an unannounced Core i7-875K processor.

Puzzlingly, the listing says the chip has a 2.93GHz clock speed, 8MB of L3 cache, a 95W thermal envelope, and a 45-nm Lynnfield architecture—pretty much the exact same specs as those of the Core i7-870, which retails for around $550 today. So, what warrants the different model number?

Some of the posters in the XtremeSystems forums are drawing a parallel with the Core 2 Duo E6500K, a processor with an unlocked upper multiplier that Intel seems to have released in China last year. Perhaps the K suffix simply denotes an unlocked multiplier, then.

The unlocked multiplier possibility seems all the more likely since an Intel exec talked about releasing unlocked Lynnfield or Clarkdale CPUs "to introduce overclocking." Those CPUs are supposed to be priced more affordably than the $999 Core i7-975 Extreme, which is Intel's only unlocked Core i7 offering at the moment.

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