The Intel Lynnfield desktop processor lineup does bring some killer performance to the mainstream market, but only the Intel Core i7-860 and Core i5-750 processor are what I would consider mainstream. The Intel Core i7-870 processor is priced at $555, which is more of a higher end sku if you ask us.
The Intel Core i5-750 offer the biggest bang for the buck and with a solid motherboard like the ASUS P7P55D Deluxe that we benchmarked on you can easily break the 4GHz mark and then some. We were able to reach over 4.3GHz on the Core i7-870 by only increasing the base clock, which speaks volumes on how easy it has become to overclock right out of the box. It really doesn’t need to be overclocked, though, if you are choosing between the Intel Core i5-750 and the AMD Phenom II 965 BE or 955 BE as the Core i5 easily outperforms the Phenom II. That means AMD would have to cut prices yet again to compete with Intel, if they want to continue out the price war between the two companies. Even if you don’t look at the performance of the chips and look at just the power consumption numbers the Intel Core i5-750 wins by a long shot when it comes to load power consumption. The AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE has a max TDP of 140W, while the Intel Core i5-750 has a TDP of 95W. Our power consumption testing showed that the Core i5-750 used 43W less power at load than the Phenom II 965BE.
That being said we are surprised that the Intel Core i7-870 easily defeated the Intel Core i7-920 and Core i7-940 in the vast majority of the benchmarks. It has been rumored that Intel was going to quit producing the Core i7-920 and now we see why. The new Lynnfield processors are brutally fast, cost less and run cooler. It will be interesting to see what Intel decides to do with the Core i7-900 series in the months to come.
Intel has successfully brought Nehalem’s features and benefits to the mainstream market with Lynnfield, but did they do it too well? Only time will be able to tell, but one thing is certain, the new Core i5 and Core i7-800 series should sell very well when it comes time to build that new Windows 7 system in the months to come.