Intel’s Sandy Bridge Pentium processors on sale early
Updated: Later today Intel is expected to launch its first desktop Pentium branded Sandy Bridge processors, but it seems like you can already get your hands on the new CPUs as several online retailers are already listing them for sale. Alongside the four new Pentium processors, it looks like Intel is set to launch a new Core i3 model as well, although we're looking at what could be a significantly change on Intel's heart here as far as the desktop CPUs are concerned. Note: This story have been updated with additional CPU models that also launched today.
Later today Intel is expected to launch its first desktop Pentium branded Sandy Bridge processors, but it seems like you can already get your hands on the new CPUs as several online retailers are already listing them for sale. Alongside the four new Pentium processors, it looks like Intel is set to launch a new Core i3 model as well, although we're looking at what could be a significantly change on Intel's heart here as far as the desktop CPUs are concerned.
The CPUs themselves aren't actually all that interesting, although the base model is expected to have a price of US$64 in quantities of 1,000 units which is a pretty competitive price point. The US$64 processor is the Pentium G620 which is clocked at 2.6GHz, supposedly it has Intel HD Graphics 2000 with a base clock of 850MHz and a dynamic clock of up to 1.1GHz (this has yet to be verified), 3MB of shared L3 cache and a TDP of 65W.
There's also a 35W TDP Pentium G620T with a lower clock speed of 2.2GHz and a lower base graphics clock of 650MHz, but otherwise the specifications are the same, but Intel will want US$70 for the cooler running chip.
Moving up we have the Pentium G840 and G850 at 2.8GHz and 2.9GHz respectively. We're not quite sure what differs between the 800 and 600 series of Pentium CPUs as outside of the higher clock speed, the remaining spec appear to be identical. The G840 should be priced at US$75 and the G850 at US$86.
The new Core i3-2105 is at first glance identical to the Core i3-2100, as it's clocked at the same 3.1GHz, it has 3MB of L3 cache and a 65W TDP. However, this will be Intel's first none K-SKU and first Core i3 desktop CPU to feature Intel HD graphics 3000. This means twice as many execution units than the 2000 series IGP. The GPU frequency remains at the same speed as the Core i3-2100 with a base clock of 850MHz and a dynamic top frequency of 1.1GHz. At US$134 this CPU is $17 more expensive than the Core i3-2100, but it looks like a worthwhile extra cost for anyone planning on using the integrated graphics.
So far the retail prices we've seen are a bit higher than the expected 1,000 unit prices, but this is hardly out of the ordinary. Now all we can hope is a cheaper K-SKU CPU, although there was a rumour going around a few days ago, this information proved to be based on a simply typo and it's not likely we'll see a Core i3 K model any time soon.
Update: Intel has updated its official price list now and all of the models above are on it. Intel also added at the Core i5-2405S which is a quad core 65W TDP CPU clocked at 2.5GHz, just like the Core i5-2400S. This is yet another CPU where Intel has boosted the graphics core to a 12 EU Intel HD graphics 3000 GPU, but no other changes appear to have taken place. This CPU should have a top Turbo frequency of 3.3GHz and the graphics has a stock clock of 850MHz, but can go all the way up to 1.1GHz. Price wise the Core i5-2405S is $10 more expensive than the Core i5-2400S at US$205.
Another newcomer is the US$177 Core i5-2310, but as far as we’re aware we’re looking at Intel HD 2000 series graphics on this model. Otherwise it appears to be a 100MHz speed boost over the Core i5-2300 and as such it comes in at a base frequency of 2.9GHz. This is a standard 95W TDP part and it has a max Turbo frequency of 3.2GHz. Interestingly it’ll carry the same US$177 price tag as the Core i5-2300.