The New Range Explained

We won’t hold it against you if you frequently have to check the feature table below during this review – in fact, we encourage you to do so. We’ve included the previous range of LGA1156 CPUs and what little we know of the new Clarkdale Pentium so you can see how all the LGA1156 CPUs compare quickly and easily.

Intel is clearly branding its CPUs by performance rather than features, so all the Core i5 CPUs should deliver the same kind of performance – somewhere between awesome (Core i7) and adequate (Core i3). The Core i5-750 is meant to be the fastest of these, as it’s a true quad-core CPU, albeit one that runs at a nominal speed of 2.66GHz rather than the stupendous 3.2-3.56GHz speeds of its dual-core (Hyper-Threaded) siblings.

The Core i5 range throws up one oddity – the Core i5-661. This is the only Clarkdale CPU that has a TDP of 87W rather than 73W, and that’s because it’s the only one with a GPU that operates at 900MHz rather than 733MHz. The Core i5-661 also drops the business PC-focused VT, vPro and TXT (Trusted Execution Technology) – it’s aimed at media PCs, and more mainstream customers who want all the benefits of DXVA and GPU acceleration. The higher TDP of the Core i5-661 allows it to Turbo Boost to the same level as the Core i5-660: from 3.33GHz to 3.6GHz.

Intel Core i5-661 & Core i3-530 CPU Review The new range of CPUs explained
Processors coloured red are new additions

Intel Core i5-661 & Core i3-530 CPU Review The new range of CPUs explained
Click to enlarge

The 3.33GHz Core i5-660 and i5-661 cost roughly the same as the supposedly superior 2.66GHz Core i5-750, while the 3.46GHz Core i5-670 costs more. This is the same silly situation that Intel created with Core i7 – where the inferior LGA1156 Core i7 CPUs cost more than the LGA1366 Core i7-920. The Core i3 range shows no such inconsistencies, with the 3.06GHz costing far less than the 3.2GHz Core i5-650, while the 2.93GHz Core i3-530 costs even less.

Intel Core i5-661 & Core i3-530 CPU Review The new range of CPUs explained
Click to enlarge

Intel Processor Prices 
ProcessorPrice (from Intel)
Core i7-870$526
Core-i7-860$284
Core i5-750$196
Core i5-670$284
Core i5-661$196
Core i5-660$196
Core i5-650$175
Core i3-540$133
Core i3-530$113
Pentium Q6xxx?

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