Following a first wave of reviews of the Core i7 processor, still mainly known under its code-name Nehalem, Intel is officially introducing its next-generation desktop microprocessor today. The new CPU is launched in three versions that are aimed at three different desktop PC markets. Core i7 is considered to be the fastest CPU money can buy today, albeit not the cheapest, and expands Intel's already sizeable lead over AMD.
It has been more than two years since Intel introduced its fantastic Core 2 Duo processor, which helped the company to get its feet back on the ground and bring AMD down to its knees, even more so than AMD impacted Intel in the 18 months prior to the launch of the CPU. Intel still holds the lead in terms of performance over AMD today and largely dictates processor pricing as a result. Core i7 has been found to be noticeably faster than Core 2 Duo/Quad processors and is expected to effectively expand Intel's advantage.
Core i7 arrives in three native quad-core versions ??“ the base model 920 (2.66 GHz), which has a tray price of $286, but is currently selling for about $320 - $400 in U.S. retail. The 2.93 GHz 940 has a tray price of $562 and sells for about $600 - $700 to consumers while the 3.2 GHz 965 Extreme Edition comes with a $999 tray price and sells for somewhere between $1100 and $1200 at this time.
If we compare these prices to the current U.S. retail prices of the outgoing Kentsfield 65 nm and Penryn 45 nm quad-core processors, then it is somewhat obvious that, while the i7 prices aren??™t exactly low, they may be low enough to put substantial pressure on its predecessors. The cheapest way to get an Intel quad-core CPU remains the Core 2 Quad Q6600, which currently retails for an average of $213, according to Pricegrabber.com. The Q6700 retails for $401, while the 45 nm Penryns are available from $250 (Q9300). The Q9650 sells for an average of $561. On the high-end, you will have to pay $1524 for a QX9770 and $1638 for a (Skulltrail) QX9775 CPU.
If you plan on building a Core i7 PC on your own, your only option right now is an Intel X58-chipset based motherboard (with ICH10 southbridge), which is available from about $300, as well as DDR3 memory, which isn??™t exactly cheap either: 1 GB of DDR3-1600 memory currently sells for somewhere between $100 and $150, depending on the manufacturer you choose. Most larger system manufacturers and boutique vendors will be offering Core i7 computers. Expect Core i7 PCs to be available from about $1000, while reasonably configured gaming PCs with a Core i7 940 will cost at least $2500 and Extreme Edition PCs will become available from about $4500 and easily break the $10,000 barrier in the most exclusive systems.
Source: TG Daily