by Anton Shilov
01/30/2012 | 09:03 PM
Intel Corp. has quietly started to sell its Core i-series "Sandy Bridge" microprocessors without integrated graphics cores. Although the new chips lack a key feature of Intel's current-generation product and thus require standalone graphics solution, cost starts at $50, the pricing of the new Core i5 and Core i3 central processing units is not too low to say at least.
The world's largest chipmaker releases its graphics-free processors at a rather wrong timing. Due to massively increased prices of hard disk drives (HDDs) personal computer manufacturers omitted installation of standalone graphics cards into their configurations in order to maintain costs of PCs at a stable level back in Q4 2011. Since in the first quarter demand generally softens and since hard drives will continue be expensive, few PC makers will be interested in chips without integrated graphics that are still pretty expensive.
Intel Core i5-2550K (3.40GHz) without integrated graphics processor (IGP) costs $225, whereas the model i5-2500K (3.30GHz) with fully-fledged graphics core is priced at $216; The model i5-2380P (3.10GHz) without IGP is available for $177, whereas i5-2400 with graphics adapter is sold for $184. Generally speaking, discounts because of the lack of IGP are too low or sometimes even absent, which will likely reduce popularity of chips among PC makers.
At present the family of Sandy Bridge-based products without graphics include seven products: Core i5-2550K (3.40GHz, four cores, 6MB cache), i5-2450P (3.20GHz, four cores, 6MB cache), i5-2380P (3.10GHz, four cores, 6MB cache), Celeron B815 (1.60GHz, two cores, 2MB cache), Celeron B720 (1.70GHz, one cores, 1MB cache), M867 (1.30GHz, two cores, 2MB cache), M797 (1.40GHz, one core, 1MB cache).
Intel did not release any formal statements concerning the new microprocessors.