Intel Core i3 and i5 hit UK shops

January 8, 2010 // 9:54 a.m.

Tags: #530 #540 #650 #660 #661 #cheap #clarkdale #core #cost #cpu-price #etailer #i3 #i5 #intel #processor #retailer

Intel might have allowed reviews of its new Core i3 and Core i5 Clarkdale CPUs earlier this, week but retailers have had to hold off until the official launch yesterday, which took place at CES. We've scanned around some of the online stores and have come up with what you'll find in the UK market, as well as how it compares to other CPU products out there.

For starters, there's the Core i3-530. Claimed by Intel to be a $113 MSRP part, this hasn't seen much of a drop when arriving on UK shores. Typically you can expect to pay around the £95 mark, plus or minus a few quid (Scan has it for £95.80, Novatech for £97.80 and Overclockers for £98.90). At that price it's certainly better than many older Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad CPUs, including the legendary Q6600.

The Core i3-540 is around £115-120 (at the time of writing Scan have the best price) - a £15-20 difference for a small clock jump we don't really feel is worth the money, especially as the i3-530 seems to be a good overclocker. The Core i5-750 is only another £25-30 on top of that again, but with four full cores at its disposal, and that really is a great chip.

The other Clarkdale Core i5s are considerably more expensive, starting at around £150 for the i5-650. The i5-660/661 are £20-25 more again, and the i5-670 is frankly off in the fairylands of lunacy at £230.

So, the i3-530 and i5-750 remain the two best choices for overclockers and gamers (should the bugs in a few BIOS' for the 530 get worked out shortly), however if you're not into overclocking, then the i5-650 will fill the gap nicely at 3.33GHz.

Are you buying a new Core i3 or i5? Find a good deal? Let us know your builds in the comments!
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