Report: Intel to freshen up CPU line this summer

Let’s face it: after the bevy of exciting new CPUs they already launched this year, the folks at Intel probably deserve a little summer break. Nevertheless, quoting sources at motherboard makers, DigiTimes reports that Intel has a handful of less eventful launches and price cuts lined up for the summer.

This summer adventure will begin in mid-July with the arrival of three new CPUs: the six-core Core i7-970 (asking price: $885), the 2.8GHz Core i5-760 (which will cost $205), and the Core i5-870S, a low-power quad-core offering priced at $351. For what it’s worth, Intel will reportedly take the Core i3-540 from $133 to $117, too.

In August, DigiTimes says we can look forward to a new Core i3 processor, the $138 i3-560, as well as a price cut that will bring the Core i7-950 from $562 to $294.

The site also talks about smaller cuts and new, Core 2-derived chips with sub-$100 price tags, but we’re having a hard time getting excited about those models. When the Core i3-530 can be had for $115, and AMD continues to sell quad-core CPUs for $99.99, previous-gen dual-core offerings lose much of their appeal.

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    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    I’ll stick with AMD. Better value overall.

      • Chrispy_
      • 10 years ago

      I just assembled an HTPC for my boss for £200 using a Sempron x2 which I bought for £21.

      It’s massively faster than an atom nettop and cheaper too.

    • sleeprae
    • 10 years ago

    I’m still hoping Intel eventually decides to make a 32nm 1366 QC, or release a 6C in a price bracket that isn’t absurd. I know it’s a premium platform, but come on…

    • axeman
    • 10 years ago

    Ah, now that Intel has a comfortable lead over AMD again, they can get back to tossing us a few stale crumbs every 6 months.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Bitter much? I remember Intel doing regular speed/bump price drops to certain price points for a long long time, even before Core 2.

    • ltcommander.data
    • 10 years ago

    I thought AMD’s pricing structure and their latest hexacores with Turbo Core are quite competitive but apparently Intel isn’t feeling any pressure. Usually when Intel releases new speed bump processors they slide into existing price points and replace previous models or bump them down the price chain. Instead, Intel is continuing to introduce new price points for new models that are slightly more expensive than the old models. For example, the Core i7 930 is priced at $294 instead of replacing the Core i7 920 at $284, the Core i7 880 came in at $583 instead of replacing the Core i7 870 at $662, and the Core i5 680 came in at $294 instead of replacing the Core i5 670 at $284. Now once again, the new Core i5 760 will come in at a new $205 price point instead of replacing the Core i5 750 at $196. Admittedly most people previously looking at the Core i5 750 would pay the $9 premium to get the Core i5 760, which is probably what Intel is counting on. As long as people don’t go AMD instead.

    • Coran Fixx
    • 10 years ago

    It seems as though the only reason for Intel to launch the E5700 is to reduce my E8400’s resale value!

    Its a conspiracy I tell ya

      • Thorburn
      • 10 years ago

      The limited cache and FSB speed hurts the Pentiums, but really if you are making investments microprocessors isn’t a great field 🙂

    • leor
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t see the purpose of the i7-970 at that price. If I’m gonna spend 885, I’d rather spend $100 more and get the 980x

      • Game_boy
      • 10 years ago

      It’s probably a lot cheaper and with a lot bigger difference in price for OEMs. Alienware’ll be flooded in i7-970s I bet. Six cores = Extreme!!!11!one!

      • guardianl
      • 10 years ago

      The i7-970 are most likely just the left-over 32nm 6 cores that couldn’t bin as 980x’s. They’ll probably mostly show in workstations from Dell, HP etc.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    New /[

      • NeelyCam
      • 10 years ago

      Wasn’t the original Core2 leap enough for you? AMD is still trying to figure it out.

        • Jigar
        • 10 years ago

        They are already in that league, infact they can pretty much compete with i5 series… It’s the i7 series against which they are struggling.

          • Shining Arcanine
          • 10 years ago

          That is only with higher clock speeds and more cores. If you reduce the clock speeds and lower the core counts to match, AMD’s offerings are beaten in benchmarks. AMD’s offerings lack clock for clock per core performance that Intel’s offerings have. They still have not caught up with Conroe and they likely will not catch up until they move from a 3-issue design to a 4-issue design.

            • Krogoth
            • 10 years ago

            What are you smoking?

            AMD has caught up with Penyrn-based chips at a clock for clock/ power efficiency basis.

            Only chips based on Nehelem and Westmere architectures are faster, albeit it is only a tiny margin. They are much better at power efficiency thought.

            Intel’s real advantage has always been its fabrication technlogy. Their 32mn process is already mature and Intel will soon will be hitting the next step before AMD/GF has matured their own 32nm process.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 10 years ago

        Core 2 was too much of a leap ahead even for Intel. Aside from what Nehalem accomplished on the server side of things, the fancy features Intel talks up for the desktop and laptop models border on smoke and mirrors.

        I really wish they’d just kept Core 2 for desktops and laptops and continued shrinking it and integrating the platform together. It would be walking all over Atom in laptops and just as “high end” as Bloomfield for desktops, but with considerably lower power use.

        You have to consider that they never actually did a monolithic quad-core with a unified L2 cache. I really have to wonder what that would be like for desktops at 32nm and with an integrated northbridge.

        I think Core 2 was the last hurrah of consumer CPUs. From now on, we’re just going to get derivatives of something that was designed for server or HPC applications, which function very differently from PC OSs.

          • UberGerbil
          • 10 years ago

          A Core 2 architecture with a monolithic quad core and unified top-level cache and integrated northbridge, designed for and fabbed at 32nm — yeah, it would be cool if Intel had done that. Wait, they did. They called it Nehalem.

          You’re overstating the difference between the Nehalem and and its predecessor (it’s mostly smoke and mirrors anyway, right?) Yeah, Nahalem is wider internally and has SMT to take advantage of that, but that just means it’s a bit more efficient and you get to have some of the benefits of more cores without having to have them actually sitting around on the die when you don’t need them. Yeah, it has a unified L3 cache but cache design involves a lot of tradeoffs — and keeping discrete and unshared L2 caches just makes each core look /[

            • Shining Arcanine
            • 10 years ago

            How is Nehalem wider internally? Both Conroe and Nehalem are 4-issue designs.

            • Kurotetsu
            • 10 years ago

            I think he meant to say ‘longer’? As in, Nehalem has more pipeline stages than Conroe?

            CPU architecture is not my specialty so I may be misinterpreting.

            • Thorburn
            • 10 years ago

            Wider is probably the wrong term, its got large scheduler buffers and Hyper-threading so it can track more instructions through the execute phase of the pipeline per core, but the theoretical peak issue rate is the same.

            You’d just saturate the OOO buffers quicker on Penryn vs. Nehalem.

            • Shining Arcanine
            • 10 years ago

            Penryn also lacks SMT.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 10 years ago

            I figured someone would say that’s what Nehalem is, but I don’t agree that desktops applications are close enough to server applications to justify using server chips, and especially not in laptops, of all things.

            All sorts of multi-threaded things have no benefit, whatsoever, from L3 cache or more than a handful of cores. It’s not necessary. I can’t think of any sort of desktop use that’s actually being held back.

            The only outright “speed” difference there’s been with different CPUs for a while has been in their memory latency. Penryn’s is lower than the Westmere dual-cores’, hence my saying, *[<"I really have to wonder..."<]* Despite the alleged power gating, tighter integration, 32nm shrink for the CPU, and 45nm shrink for the GPU, Westmere didn't do anything for laptop battery life vs. Core 2. I'm not overstating anything. I'm pointing out facts and, god forbid, wondering out loud how it could have worked another way, instead of guzzling Intel's marketing spam. And as for the iPad comment and snide reference to my "smoke and mirrors" comment, you know exactly what I'm talking about and that just makes you look like an Intel shill.

            • Game_boy
            • 10 years ago

            Yeah, Conroe and Penryn were clearly mobile chips, due to their Pentium M heritage.

            Nehalem was a server chip, mostly. Took them a year and a bit to make smaller derivatives and as you say, battery life hasn’t improved (though performance has).

            But Sandy Bridge is another mobile-focused chip; SB’s 2 and 4 core variants will come first and on laptops, then server (6/8/10+ core) variants follow 6-12 months later. Done by the same design team who did Pentium M through Penryn. So expect improved battery life then.

          • Krogoth
          • 10 years ago

          I know what you are getting at.

          What is happening is that x86 CPU market has fallen into two distinct group.

          When you go beyond $300 range, you get nothing but server/workstation grade chips. They aren’t worth it unless time is $$$$ a.k.a professional-grade work. This arena is pretty much ruled by Intel except for $300-$400 range where higher-end X6s offer some advantages over their direct competitors.

          Chips under $299 yield more than sufficient performance to satisfy the vast majority of computer users. Yes, even most enthusiast.

          AMD has the edge in $$$$/performance ratio at this tier, but Intel has the edge in power efficiency. Pick and chose what best suits you.

          This is nothing like previous generations where you had the same basic architecture, but binned at different speeds/caches. This is when overclocking made fiscal sense. Now it is just for epenis wankery.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            You were doing well until your last two sentences. Overclocking still serves the same purpose it always did: getting a faster CPU than you paid for, or extending the viable lifetime of a system even though software requirements has lagged behind. Your point about desktop versus server architecture (I think architecture overstates the differences though…it’s more like implementation of certain features that only help certain usage models ie: dual versus triple channel memory) is valid but doesn’t change that simple fact.

            The age of ‘fast enough’ computing is the real story but part of that is because of software not moving as fast as hardware.

            • Krogoth
            • 10 years ago

            The problem is that stock speed on modern chips are “fast” enough. CPU overclocking isn’t worth the headaches of data corruption and tweaking around settings for that stability point. It is pretty much for epenis points in Penismarks2011 XTREME EDITION.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            I’m not disagreeing that CPUs aren’t ‘fast enough’ – that would be the part of your post that wasn’t in the last two sentences and I even wrote it with a different angle myself. I think you definitely overstate the ‘hardness’ of overclocking though, one can get an easy and free boost with simple stock voltage overclocking and unless you’re a noob at oc’ing and don’t test at all there’s little chance of data corruption. Whether it matters depends upon what one does with the CPU, hence why I said it’s software that’s lagging behind. I can tell you that my Q9550 at 3.6GHz on sub-VID vcore, which would have been easy on any motherboard except a quirky DFI one :p and even then wasn’t that bad, made me have no desire to get a Nehalem-based CPU. Without overclocking I would have been much more tempted.

    • Jigar
    • 10 years ago

    Suddenly i felt the urge to upgrade to i950 , but after the impulsive effect went by, i realized, i should probably wait till Bulldozer to arrive 😉

      • CasbahBoy
      • 10 years ago

      Screw it, I’ll probably go ahead and get a 950 once the price drop happens.

    • StuG
    • 10 years ago

    Honestly not a whole lot to see here. Just another re-fresh before Sandy Bridge goes live…I can’t help but think they are doing all this run-around/stalling for AMD’s sake.

    Much different than their anti-trust practices…but hey, atleast its something.

      • NeelyCam
      • 10 years ago

      Just a regular refresh/price cut, that has probably been in the roadmap for a year or two. Intel does this on a regular basis, regardless of the “competitive environment”

      Which is something I can’t say about AMD… AMD is only out to take your cash – right now they can’t because their chips are inferior, but when Bulldozer comes out, expect skyhigh prices.

      Intel is your best friend, like it or not.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        Unsuccessful troll is unsuccessful :/

          • nanoflower
          • 10 years ago

          I don’t think the post was totally a troll. The shot at AMD was uncalled for but he does have a point. As far as I know AMD doesn’t have a regular schedule for doing cost reductions so their cost cuts seem to be in reaction to the market while Intel seems to plan for regular cost reductions.

            • UberGerbil
            • 10 years ago

            Yeah, I’ve said this for quite a while: Intel cuts prices because they /[

          • NeelyCam
          • 10 years ago

          Yeah; nobody takes me seriously enough anymore to respond.

          That was only 50% trolling, though…

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 10 years ago

      That’s preposterous. They just started ramping up 32nm production and they have a squillion new six-core derived CPUs and CULV Core iXs.

      And that’s stalling and helping AMD? I don’t think so, Tim.

        • UberGerbil
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, when it doesn’t have to respond to a direct competitive threat Intel mostly marches to the beat of its own internal cycles, putting out quarterly price list changes while trying to juggle node transitions and maximize revenue from their current fab mix. They’re also at least somewhat beholden to the OEMs and motherboard makers, who have their own interests in getting return on their current investments and not obsoleting existing inventory. You need the new hotness to keep interests up, but not so frequently that you never get a chance to milk it.

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