Intel ships new six-core Core i7 chip, cuts chip prices

Intel also cut prices by up to 48 per cent and removed some Xeon 5400 chips from its offerings

Intel on Monday introduced a six-core Core i7 desktop processor targeted at enthusiasts like gamers, while also cutting prices of some desktop and server chips by up to 48 percent.

The company announced the Core i7-970 processor, which will run at 3.2GHz and have 12MB of L3 cache. This is the second six-core desktop chip launched by Intel after the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition, which was launched in March.

Intel offers standard Core i7 processors for high-end desktops and Core i7 Extreme Edition processors, which are expensive chips targeted at specific users like hardcore gamers who may be looking for extreme performance. The Core i7-970 is an attempt to trickle down six-core chips and fast performance from the Extreme Edition to the main Core i7 lineup, an Intel spokesman said.

The new Core i7-970 should bring a new level of performance to Core i7 lineup. Intel's 980X Extreme Edition processor has captured many benchmark crowns, outperforming even the company's Xeon server chips.

The Core i7-970 is priced at $US885 in units of 1,000. The processor is made using the 32-nanometer manufacturing process, which helps boost system performance compared to chips based on earlier architectures.

The company also cut the price of the lower-end Core i7-870 processor by 48 percent from $582 to $294, according to the company's price list (PDF), which was published on July 18.

The price was cut to put the offering in line with the company's other Core i7 offerings, the spokesman said. Intel also cut a numerous dual- and quad-core Xeon server and workstation chips from its offerings, including the older 5400 series of chips belonging to the X, L and E series. The company also cut the price of the Xeon X3470 processor by 44 percent from $589 to $328.

Intel on Monday also started shipping the new quad-core Core i5-760 desktop processor, which will run at 2.8GHz and includes 4MB of L3 cache. The chip is made using the company's older 45-nanometer manufacturing process.

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