Nehalem Revolution: Intel's Core i7 Processor Complete Review
The Intel Core i7 CPUs
So now that we know that guts of everything that makes up the Intel Core i7 series of processors, what do the physical specimens themselves have to offer? As you might expect, from an exterior appearance the Nehalem-based CPUs are really quite plain and look remarkably similar to their older brother the Core 2:
Intel Core i7 965 on the left...or is it the right?
One note about today's product announcement is that Intel does not anticipate having product for sale in the channel until sometime "in November" and today we are actually bringing you a sneak peek of the products as they will be available later in the month. The SKUs coming to market this year include:
All three CPUs have a transistor count of 731M on a die size of about 263 mm^2 - significantly smaller than the current beast of the processing world, the GT200 from NVIDIA that sports 1.4 Billion transistors!
Pricing is still just an estimate of course since they are not going to be for sale today, but Intel has set 1k pricing at the following:
- Core i7-965 Extreme Edition: $999
- Core i7-940: $562
- Core i7-920: $284
Two things stand out to me about the pricing on these first three Core i7 CPUs. First I am pleasantly surprised to find that Intel would choose to offer such a low cost option for their first round of releases with the Core i7-920 selling for under $300. Intel probably could have gotten away with keep all three SKUs over the $500 mark for such a new technology but now we will see some mainstream PCs have the ability to adopt the new core architecture pretty quickly.
The second point is that I seriously doubt we will see the Core i7-965 processor selling or $999 any time soon. An unfortunate trend we have seen increase with the Core 2 Extreme processors is that they take a LONG time to come down to their 1k pricing; take the Core 2 Extreme QX9650 as an example of a CPU that has yet to reach that $999 price tag after exactly one year on the market.