While the effects of Bulldozer on the market as a whole were interesting, at stock speeds it does not set the world alight. So what is Intel's response? Strangely enough, they have taken a leaf from AMD's history books. KitGuru dons a toga and prepares to draw diagrams in the sand.
In the dark old days of Prescott (the CPU, not the obese politician), AMD had a fundamental lead in processor technology. Intel's chips used the same psychology as the 1950s American car market – to go faster you use a bigger and bigger engine, while AMD had a much more efficient design (think classic Porsche – the kind James Dean died in).
Sure, in the background, Intel was cooking up Conroe, but to the public it was offering an increasingly ageing P4 technology that was bottlenecked beyond belief.
AMD's launch strategy was simple. Wait for Intel to bluff and bluster a new chip into the market, and then simply increase the clock on the Athlon or FX processor by 100MHz in order to re-take the lead.
Maybe AMD should be hounding Intel for some kind of ‘royalty payments', cos that's exactly what seems to be happening with Sandybridge and Bulldozer.
The channel is being prepared for the launch of an improved Sandybridge Core i7 design. Improved ever so slightly. Basically, the Core i7 2700k will ship with a 100MHz advantage at stock clocks – but is expected to have been cherry picked from an improved process batch – so that its overclocking potential will be more like 5GHz than the 4.8Ghz that most people seem happy with on the 2600k.
The price is slightly higher than for the 2600k, with Scan taking pre-orders at £239 + vat.
In the meantime, pushing an Intel Core i7 2700k to >5Ghz will give you monster performance with relatively little power draw. Expect Scan to be shipping soon.
KitGuru says: Unusual that Scan would be first with the pre-ordering, but they do have a massive following and sales of this chip are expected to be strong in the early months. The only doubt in the mind of the enthusiast will be “Should I go with X79” – but that platform choice is likely to incur significant additional costs in terms of mainboard and quad channel memory requirements.
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