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Intel Planning to Ship Multiplier Unlocked CPUs?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 24 comments

Forget all that messing with bus speeds; what you really want is an unlocked multiplier!

Multiplier unlocked processors are not the norm, despite being a surefire hit with the enthusiast community that likes to decide clock speeds for themselves. Those in search of such processor have to turn to AMD's Black Edition CPUs or Intel's Extreme Editions, both of which come with a price premium. But there may be another multiplier unlocked CPU coming from Intel, according to recent reports from the web.

Most telling is a BIOS compatibility chart listed by Gigabyte for its GA-P55A-UD6 that clearly displays an unannounced Lynnfield CPU – the Core i7-875K. Like the Core i7-870, it too supposedly runs at 2.93GHz, but speculation says that the Core i7-875K will be multiplier unlocked.

The same speculation says that the 'K' is for unlocked. If that's true, then there may be another reason to get excited. Expreview has noticed references to a Core i3-655K with base clock speed of 3.2GHz and a top Turbo Boost speed of 3.46GHz, which matches up with the Core i5-650, which currently sells for around $185. The Clarkdale i3 processor will supposedly hit in June with the Lynnfield i7 landing in July.

When asked, Intel declined to comment on rumors or speculation.

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    Tindytim , March 24, 2010 12:56 AM
    I sometimes wonder if Intel if punishing me for buying a 1366 board. Excuse me, I'm going to curl up into a ball and cry.
  • 18 Hide
    polly the parrot , March 24, 2010 1:18 AM
    Intel should've had the 920s unlocked...but obviously they wouldn't have made a dime from the overpriced 940s and 965s.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    Tindytim , March 24, 2010 12:56 AM
    I sometimes wonder if Intel if punishing me for buying a 1366 board. Excuse me, I'm going to curl up into a ball and cry.
  • Display all 24 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    ktasley , March 24, 2010 12:57 AM
    so whats the 15-870s? Low power I am assuming from the clock speed?
  • 18 Hide
    polly the parrot , March 24, 2010 1:18 AM
    Intel should've had the 920s unlocked...but obviously they wouldn't have made a dime from the overpriced 940s and 965s.
  • -1 Hide
    jenesuispasbavard , March 24, 2010 1:46 AM
    Is it also going to be priced like the i7-870?
  • 0 Hide
    random_yggdrasil , March 24, 2010 2:18 AM
    Well this is some news I like =] I would like some nice price tags to go along with the news tho :) 
  • 1 Hide
    saaiello , March 24, 2010 2:57 AM
    LOL this is gonna be expensive cant wait to see what has to be mortgaged to buy this one. :lol: 
  • 2 Hide
    matt87_50 , March 24, 2010 3:00 AM
    yeah, just a shame that the 870 is already a massive ripoff compared to the 860. so clearly they are just making mini extreme editions for each platform.
  • 1 Hide
    freename , March 24, 2010 3:00 AM
    I'd be very surprised if Intel actually shipped an affordable multiplier unlocked cpu that had any kind of legs for OC'ing.

    Why would they bother adding more performance per $ when they're essentially competing with themselves in the top performance levels? All they'd do is stop someone with OC'ing know-how from buying a more expensive chip.

    The only way I could ever see this happening is if AMD's next chip is a market-changer.
  • 2 Hide
    Tindytim , March 24, 2010 3:15 AM
    freenameWhy would they bother adding more performance per $ when they're essentially competing with themselves in the top performance levels? All they'd do is stop someone with OC'ing know-how from buying a more expensive chip.


    Just because the 975 has an unlocked multiplier doesn't mean everyone who bought it was going to use it for overclocking. The fact of the matter is, when a 920 ships it's only guaranteed to work at 2.6 Ghz. Some chips will go much higher, and other won't, but that's not intel's problem. If you were building something that you wanted to be sure was stable at 3.333 Ghz, you could take the chance with an 920 and void the warrenty, or you could spend the extra money for stability and some peace of mind on the 975.

    You or I may not care as much, but then again, very few of us were going to be buying a $1000 dollar processor when we could get about the same for a third of the price. Point being, most of us aren't going to be spending that much on a processor anyway.
  • -1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 24, 2010 3:21 AM
    The escalating prices are taking their toll. It doesn't look like I'll be doing any upgrading for quite a while.
  • 0 Hide
    kewlx , March 24, 2010 4:02 AM
    I ran my 920 at 3.65 Ghz and the ram at 1456 Mhz for 24 hours and 2 mins on prime95 with everything at 100% and it ran without errors. so I would still say the 920's are best though I got lucky with getting a D0 version
  • -1 Hide
    dco , March 24, 2010 6:35 AM
    it would be awesome if they did release some more unlocked multiplier CPU's.

    But in no does it reference that in the info provided above all you've said is its "speculated"......
  • 1 Hide
    3Ball , March 24, 2010 11:43 AM
    Good news if they start doing it for some of the cheaper processors. For now I will stick with my $200 860 @ 3.8ghz (Got it at Microcenter if anyone is curious).
  • 0 Hide
    7amood , March 24, 2010 12:14 PM
    if AMD's next mid-ranged hexa-core can be unlocked, cheap, and power-efficient, all in comparison to Intel, then am Intel no more.
    I can build myself an AMD that is half my 1800$ Intel and as powerful.
    I had enough with Intel games...
  • -1 Hide
    HavoCnMe , March 24, 2010 12:17 PM
    This is great speculation, but. Even if Intel decides to release some of these processors unlocked, they will still hold the extreme edition name and price tag.
  • 1 Hide
    Shadow703793 , March 24, 2010 1:14 PM
    There was an unlocked budget CPU that was unlocked in the C2D era, aka E6500K. Unfortunately, this was available only in China :cry: 
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , March 24, 2010 1:32 PM
    Hey Intel - Throw us a bone! -

    AMD is (at least) a generation back - The Phenom II is barely a match for the C2D, so forget about going head to head with Bloomfield, Clarkdale, or heaven forbid Sandy Bridge.

    We pay what Intel says we must pay, at the top end, Intel has a monopoly.

    Unlocked chips would be a great goodwill gesture.
  • 3 Hide
    matt_b , March 24, 2010 1:41 PM
    AMD...premium price for their unlocked CPU's? Compared to an Intel Extreme, I think not. Besides, unless I missed it, where is the concrete pricing here? Intel has had unlocked chips for YEARS, but the pricing is the only point we are looking for - being not mentioned here makes the "high hopes" over this article non-existent! At this point, merely "rumors and speculation" is all we have to go on.
  • -4 Hide
    zodiacfml , March 24, 2010 2:27 PM
    unlocked processors are best for power efficiency.
  • 0 Hide
    christop , March 24, 2010 3:18 PM
    I still want a 920 after I trash my old e8400.
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