At the Computex Taipei 2010 trade-show Intel Corp. unveiled its new microprocessors designed specifically for overclockers. The chips come with unlocked multipliers and hence allow to easily boost performance of such central processing units without any need to increase the stress onto mainboard and other components of the system.
The new Intel Core i7-875K (4 cores/8 threads, 2.93GHz, 8MB L3 cache, 45nm) and Intel Core i5-655K (2 cores/4 threads, 3.20GHz, 4MB L3 cache, 32nm) designed for LGA1156 platforms belong to the New Unlocked Intel Core Processors family and are intended for enthusiasts or computer manufacturers who want to push their systems to the limit with all the necessary overclocking tools and features at their fingertips. As a result, the new processors come with unlocked core ratios to support “enhanced” performance tuning, Intel said.
The Intel Core i7-875K and Core i5-655K are priced at $342 and $216 respectively. Quite noteworthy is that the Core i7-870 processor is currently priced at $562, whereas the Core i5-650 at $176. It is more than probably that the price of the model i7-870 will shortly be decreased to below $342 level, though.
It is interesting to note that at least until the mid-nineties virtually all microprocessors – from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, Cyrix, etc – featured unlocked multipliers since internal clock-speeds were already higher than bus frequencies, whereas such practice as overclocking was not wide-spread. However, after overclocking became more popular and because it was rather easy to falsify the marking in order to “hike” the clock-speed and sell the chips at higher price. Usually such chips malfunctioned. By the mid-aughts microprocessors not only sported locked multiplier, but their clock-speeds were flashed into their microcode, hence, despite of overclocking, the chips showed their default frequencies alongside their model numbers in special utilities.