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Intel's 32nm desktop CPU speeds and feeds revealed

Dual-core 32nm Core i5 and Core i3 in early 2010

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Intel's first Core i5 - the chip bringing the giant's Nehalem technology into the mainstream desktop processor market - is due early in September. Further out, the company has roadmapped additional members of the family, the 32nm 'Clarkdale' chip.

It's also added the low-end Clarkdale Core i3 to its proposed line-up, assorted Asian moles say.

A big batch of i5s will be born in Q1 2010. September's Core i5-750 will be joined at that time by the i5-750s, aka 'Lynnfield'. It's said to be a low-power version of the i5-750 that runs at 2.4GHz rather than 2.66GHz and with an 82W power envelope - 13W less than the regular 750's TDP. But it too can overclock dynamically to 3.2GHz, drawing more power when it does.

While the 750 will cost $196, the greater power efficiency of the 750s is expected to set buyers back $259. Both chips support 1066MHz and 1333MHz DDR 3 memory.

Joining the 750s will be as-yet-unnumbered 3.2GHz, 3.33GHz and 3.46GHz i5s which contain only two cores, though HyperThreading technology - absent from the first i5 - will present eight cores to the host OS. All three will contain 4MB of L3 cache.

They will auto-overclock to 3.46GHz, 3.60GHz and 3.73GHz, respectively. They share the same TDP: 73W. Like the 750, they have virtualisation support (VT-x) but this time that will extend to direct I/O access (VT-d).

Thousand-chip tray prices yield price-per-processor numbers of $176, $196 and $284, respectively.

Q1 2010 will also see the arrival of two - again, not yet numbered - Core i3 CPUs. They too will contain two cores HyperThreaded up to four and 4MB of L3. Like the i5s the i3s will support DDR 3 running at up to 1333MHz. They have a 73W TDP.

Clock speeds are set to peak at 2.93GHz and 3.06GHz, but here there's no opportunity for the processor to auto-overclock itself. There's no VT-d support either, and the i3s lack Intel's Trusted Execution Technology (TXT).

Prices are currently pegged at $123 and $143.

Expect a cheaper option in Q1 2010 too: an $87, 2.8GHz Nehalem-derived Pentium with 3MB of L3, two cores but no HyperThreading, no auto-overclocking and no VT-d. ®

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