updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon July 19, 2010
Intel confirms six-core mainstream chip, faster i5
Intel today quickly confirmed weekend leaks by confirming the launch of two new desktop processors. Topping the mix is the Core i7 970; the 32nm chip is Intel's first six-core processor outside of the Extreme Edition or Xeon chips, but it clocks at the same 3.2GHz as the quad-core 960 it effectively replaces. The chip can handle as many as 12 program threads through Hyperthreading and ramps to 3.46GHz with Turbo Boost.
In the mid-range, the Core i5 760 represents a more gradual increase with a jump from 2.66GHz to 2.8GHz and the same four cores. Like other desktop Core i5 chips, it doesn't use Hyperthreading but does support Turbo Boost for an unspecified higher speed with fewer active cores.
Intel doesn't list pricing, but retail kits on Newegg start at $210 for the Core i5 760 and $900 for the Core i7 970.
The chips are likely to be fitted into fully assembled PCs and may hint at Apple's iMac plans for at least the Core i5. It already uses the 2.66GHz chip in the 27-inch iMac and may use a clock speed boost for a late 2010 update.