Now that's pretty quiet. Intel, today, announced its Core i5 and Core i3 branding with very little detail. The post that inspired all of this is here, which I found from Cyril's summary on Tech Report (btw, Cyril's posts pretty much always rock).

The important take away points are as follows:

1) The new brand is Intel Core. There will be three derivatives: Core i7, Core i5 and Core i3.

2) The Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad branding will eventually disappear.

3) Pentium, Celeron and Atom will remain.

4) Centrino will also go away and Intel's WiFi and WiMAX products will inherit the name starting in 2010.

But what separates a Core i7 from a Core i5 and Core i3? I may have some insight. Let's start with desktop processors:

Desktop Processor Cores Threads Turbo
Intel Core i7 4 8 Yes
Intel Core i5 2 or 4 4 Yes
Intel Core i3 2 or 4 4 No


Only the Core i7 is allowed to run in a LGA-1366 socket, however there will be LGA-1156 i7, i5 and i3CPUs . The number of memory channels and the presence of a QPI link does not determine branding. In other words, Lynnfield will be both a Core i7 and a Core i5 depending on the SKU.

The LGA-1156 Core i7s will be the 8xx series, while the LGA-1366 i7s will be the 9xx series. The i5s will be the 6xx series and the i3s will be the 5xx series.

Four cores and HT enabled with turbo mode yields you a Core i7 on the desktop. If you only have support for up to 4 threads then you've got a Core i5; take away turbo and you have a Core i3.

In mobile, things are a little different:

Mobile Processor Cores Threads Turbo
Intel Core i7 2 or 4 4 or 8 Yes
Intel Core i5 2 or 4 4 Yes
Intel Core i3 2 or 4 4 No


The mobile i7 can be 2 or 4 cores and support 4 or 8 threads, which makes sense since there will be more dual-core than quad-core mobile processors. The rest of the lineup follows the desktop rules; i5 and i3 are capped at 4 threads and i3 doesn't have Turbo.

I've got one more thing to report. Remember how I wasn't totally sure about the turbo modes for the top end Lynnfield processor in our preview? I think I've got it:

Desktop Processor Clock Speed Max Turbo (# of Cores Active)
4C 3C 2C 1C
Intel Core i7 870 2.93GHz 3.20GHz 3.20GHz 3.46GHz 3.60GHz


From what I've heard, this is going to be a Core i7 870 and the turbo modes are similar to what I estimated. With two cores active this thing will turbo up to 3.46GHz (4 speed bins). That's going to be a huge boon to performance in games and other apps that have difficulty using more than 2 threads. Combine that with Windows 7's superior thread handling and I believe we have a winner on our hands.



View All Comments

  • RadnorHarkonnen - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    Diferent sockets, sometimes same arquitecture, sometimes not.

    Seems to me the perfect retail scheme. Like Nvidia you don't know whats under the hood unless you read alot.

  • plewis00 - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    Can I just ask others out there, when you heard of the naming - did this remind anyone else of BMW's 3-series. 5-series and 7-series? It was the first thing I thought of when I heard of i5 and now i3 just reinforces that. Reply
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    I want an M3 or M6.
  • bobbozzo - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    and I would never get a 7... they're gas-guzzling boats.
  • Peroxyde - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    There is a car model named "iCore5"? Reply
  • strikeback03 - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    No, it is something like the sDrive35i Reply
  • plewis00 - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    No, but that's why I said 'reminds me of'. A simple Google search would evidence that I'm not the only one that's thought this.

    There is also no 'car model' called a 5-series; unsurprisingly, it's a SERIES of car models.

    But if you want to be a tool about it, fine...
  • Drazick - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    When will we get USB3 and SATA3?

    Thanks for the news.
    I hope AMD will be able to be around so the prices will be reasonable.
  • tacoburrito - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    In a dual core i5 with turbo, I doubt its performance will be that much difference than a dual core i3 without turbo. Having only one core turns off during operations shouldn't increase the speed of the remaining core by that much, methinks. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, June 18, 2009 - link

    So I wonder what will be the maximum clock speed with turbo boost for mobile Clarksfield? The rumoured stock clocks seem to max out at 1.73GHz which is disappointingly low. I'd think common applications/tasks on a notebook are less likely to be well-threaded so good single-threaded/dual-threaded performance or clock speed is critical. Otherwise the average user may well find a 1.73GHz Clarksfield being slower than a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo. Reply

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