Core i7. The new CPU architecture from Intel. It has now been out for about roughly 2 weeks, and it’s both cheaper and faster than the almighty QX9950 processors. Though Cheaper might not be the correct word.
There are 3 models. The 920 – 2.66ghz ($400ish) , 940 – 2.93ghz ($600ish) and 965 3.2Ghz (a mighty $2000-3000ish).
The cheapest of these, the 920 has beaten the QX9950 processors in most performances tests, which is great because it is faster and cheaper, and shows the Core i7 is a great and succesful starting architecture from Intel.
Some of the highlights are that it uses multi-threading, last seen back in Pentium 4 processors. The Core i7 chips are basically quad cores, but use two logical threads, so now you can brag how you have 8 logical cores!
Some of the performance gains seen such as Crysis’s 40% framerate increase, and a 30-second faster rendering time in most rendering benchmarks really show what the new i7 range has to offer.
i7 is to be described as the high-end range of the new architecture, with Core i5 chips coming out later early next year for mainstream usages, and obviously a lower price.
The downsides however, are the low overclocking abilities and the lower performance in certain games, as games rely heavily on the L2 cache of a CPU, where the older CPUs actually have performance gains over these chips. Hopefully we’ll see fixes to this soon, so I’d stay tuned for this big improvement. It has a lot of potential for 2009.