Speed bumping a processor is a very natural way to refresh your range. It’s the oldest marketing trick in the book, but what does it actualy buy you? In reality, it’s very hard to know. KitGuru looks at the upcoming IntelCore i3 560 processor.
In the good old days of the FX, AMD prided itself with having a completely scalable architecture. Add 100 more MegaHz and you would get better benchmarks. Given how hard Intel was struggling with the Pentium 4 architecture and the heat issues associated with its clocks, this was a great strategy.
Unfortunately for AMD, these days, Intel has not only massively scalable architectures – it is also suffering from outstanding production processes. Suffering? Yes, if because the enthuaist community knows that a Core i3 530, Core i5 650, Core i5 750 and Core i7 920 will all get to 4GHz comfortably with a decent cooler, then it makes the channel sales into retail job very difficult.
However, as products mature, the processes also improve. There’s no guarantee that a Core i3 560 processor will clock past 4Ghz, but there is every chance that it will run more stably at that setting and generate fewer hotspots on the surface of the processor.
Out of the box, we expect this processor to be clocked at 3.33Ghz – 270 MHz faster than the existing 540 model. Price wise, it looks to be aiming for the same space around ther £95 mark including sales tax (maybe $145 in funny money) . Zardon will, naturally, torture test the poor thing to see just how much performance its dual core architecture can deliver.
KitGuru says: We’re going to be optimistic and expect that this updated model will have an improved internal design (compared to the original Core i3 530). If it runs stable at 4Ghz with something like a Thermaltake Contac29, then we’re happy.
What’s your thinking?