CHIPMAKER Intel has quietly released the first affordable socket 2011 Core i7 chip, the Core i7 3820.
Three months after Intel announced its socket 2011 chips and the X79 chipset, the firm has finally released what is likely to be the part most enthusiasts will end up going for, the Core i7 3280. The quad-core processor runs at 3.60GHz and features a 10MB cache, Turbo Boost and Hyperthreading.
While Intel disabled two of the cores on its Core i7 3930K and Core i7 3960X parts to end up with six-core processors, it isn't entirely clear at this stage if the Core i7 3820 is essentially half a Xeon E5. However none of that will matter as Intel is pricing the Core i7 3820 at $294 in 1000-unit trays, making it the better part of $300 cheaper than the Core i7 920.
Curiously Chipzilla's pricing of the Core i7 3820 undercuts the firm's more mainstream Core i7 offerings, the Core i7 2600K and Core i7 2700K. However when accounting for the fact that X79 motherboards can be considerably more expensive, the chip is perhaps well suited for those who need the quad-channel memory afforded by the X79 mainboard and socket 2011 processor combination.
Although Intel didn't announce retail pricing, expect processors to cost close to the £200 mark. If the chip overclocks well, it could take the original Core i7 920's mantle. µ