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Intel's consumer-friendly Nehalem chips arrive early?

Core i5, i7, P-55 hit Asia

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Intel's long-awaited consumer-level Nehalem-based processors and motherboards are already available in Asia in "small volumes", ahead of their expected launch early next month.

That is, if a report by the Taiwanese market-watchers at DigiTimes is to be believed.

DigiTimes reports that unnamed "market sources" have told them that the socket-1156 processors - the Core i5-750, Core i7-860, and Core i7-870 - are available in "some retail channels in Taiwan and China," along with motherboards based on the new P-55 chipset.

The sources report that the chips are priced at about $207 for the Core i5-750, $303 for the Core i7-860, and $576 for the Core i7-870, and that that all three chips have an 8MB L3 Cache, a TDP of 95 watts, and support dual-channel DDR3 memory. Reg sources also report a variety of TDPs and other details of future i5s and i3s, set to appear in early 2010.

According DigiTimes, the new P-55-based motherboards are being produced by Asustek Computer, Gigabyte Technology, and Micro-Star International. Asustek's range from $166 to $282, Gigabyte's from $158 to $270, and Micro-Star's from $152 to $243.

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment on the DigiTimes report, saying only that: "The industry is extremely excited about the Lynnfield platform but the products have not yet launched." The spokesperson added: "We don’t tend to comment on speculation-site articles." ®

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