Intel officially introduced its Lynnfield CPUs today, and the web has been flooded with reviews of the new Core i7 870 and Core i5 750 processors. Lets take a look at what tech sites have to say of Intel's latest architecture.
First up is a review from AnandTech, they conclude the Core i5 750 is the best quad-core processor you can buy today for $196. In nearly every case it's faster than the almost $50 more expensive AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE, meaning that AMD will need to further cut its prices in order to remain competitive. The Lynnfield also gets praised for its power efficiency, Anand says this chip is the most efficient quad-core they've ever tested. Anand didn't have enough time to test the Core i7 860 but he believes that at $284 this chip will be the Lynnfield sweetspot.
Luckily, the solution isn't that difficult. AMD needs to lower prices. The problem is that AMD has too many products below $200 already. The Phenom II X3 and X4 series both exist below $200 and rumor has it that AMD is also going to introduce a quad-core Athlon II somewhere down there. Lynnfield's arrival causes a lot of price compression on AMD's side. The most AMD should sell the 965 BE for is $199, but if it is to remain competitive the chip needs to be priced much lower. That doesn't leave much room for other AMD CPUs. On the bright side, this could force AMD to simplify its product lines again (similar to what it has quietly been doing already).
Another nice review can be read over at The Tech Report. They praise the Lynnfield for its combination of price, performance, and power efficiency. Reviewer Scott Wasson also notes that AMD's high-end CPUs are uncompetitive compared to Lynnfield, and he believes Intel may phase out the Core i7 9xx series because the Core i7 870 outperforms the Core i7 950:
Meanwhile, the Core i7-870 performs at least as well as the Core i7-950 overall, and it does so on a cheaper, more power-efficient platform. I could see Intel killing off everything in the Core i7-900 series except for the 975 Extreme, leaving the LGA1366 socket as an ultra-high-end, boutique kind of offering. I doubt anyone would mind. The Core i7-870 is all the processor any enthusiast needs, except for the crazy people with credit card limits much higher than their IQs. (No offense, crazy guys. Just joshing, you know. No stalky-stalky, please.)
The third review in this brief roundup comes from PC Perspective, they write the Lynnfield launch is a huge success.
Intel's new Core i7 series of processors is a modern marvel of technology that brings previously inaccessible performance to the consumer. In areas where multi-threaded applications are dominant, heavy multi-tasking is the norm or multimedia encoding is the primary function, the move to a HyperThreaded Core i7 part is a no brainer. But Intel's biggest problem might not have anything to do with AMD or another outside source: the fact is that the Core 2 Quad processors are still fantastic performers, widely available and pretty damn cheap.