With the recession still in full swing, it looks as though Intel is considering giving cash-strapped overclockers a tweakers’ treat in the form of a cut-price CPU with an unlocked multiplier.
The revelation was apparently revealed in a private conversation between Intel’s director of graphics and chipset marketing, Steven Peterson and German tech site Tweakers.net (Google Translation) at CeBit. During the conversation, Peterson reportedly said that the chip maker is planning a CPU with a freely adjustable multiplier, but at a lower price than the ludicrously priced Extreme Editions.
According to the site, Peterson wouldn’t reveal any specifics about the CPU, but said that it would be available very soon, and that it would more than likely be a limited edition. The site speculates that it’s likely to be a Lynnfield or Clarkdale model, using the LGA1156 socket.
At a guess, we’d say it’s much more likely to be the former, as you’ll get more overclocking headroom from a CPU package that isn’t cluttered with extras such as integrated graphics.
It’s a move that would make perfect sense, given Intel’s increasing friendliness with the overclocking community. The Core i5 and i7 CPUs already have the ability to push individual cores on demand, via Intel’s TurboBoost technology, and Intel is now a regular sponsor at overclocking events, such as the Gigabyte Open Overclocking Championship.
What’s more, Intel’s arch competitor AMD has been providing unlocked multipliers on its Black Edition chips for several years now. Although the Black Editions are at the top end of AMD’s CPU line-up, they’re still affordable for mere mortals. Comparatively, enthusiasts currently pay a massive premium for Intel’s Extreme CPUs.
Intel refused to confirm or deny the story, telling us that it cannot comment on rumours or speculation.