updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu July 1, 2010
Core i5 and i7 to get speed updates this month
Intel is about to release a mid-July desktop processor refresh that could help companies like Apple improve their lineups, a schedule posted today might have confirmed. The Core i7 970 would lead the way and become the first non-Extreme six-core processor from Intel. Early leaks have put it at a 3.2GHz regular speed and have given it a large 12MB of cache. The part will still be expensive, DigiTimes warns, as it will cost $885 even in bulk pricing.
More feasible for the mainstream should be the Core i5 760, which will bump up the quad-core processor speed from 2.66GHz to 2.8GHz even while keeping a $205 price. Low-power desktops will have the option of the i5 870S, a low-power quad processor at an unknown speed; it would cost $351.
More desktop processors are due in August but will swing attention mostly to the budget range with a new Core i3 560 ($138) as well as the Pentium E5700 ($75), Pentium E6800 ($86) and Celeron E3500 ($53). Few details are known, but they should be dual-core processors and may top out at 3.33GHz for the Core i3. The existing quad 3.06GHz Core i7 950 should see its price cut in half at the same time, to $294.
While the chips are likely to be used widely, they may open the door to an iMac upgrade in particular. Apple hasn't updated its all-in-one desktops since they were redesigned in October and has partly been limited by Intel's need both to upgrade its mid-range quad-core chips. Core i3 processors to replace the Core 2 Duos, as well as more affordable Core i7 chips, may also play a role.