Intel Lynnfield Core i5-750 & Core i7-870 Processor Review

by MAC     |     September 6, 2009

Intel Lynnfield Core i5-750 &
Core i7-870 Processor Review

Over the past year, we have seen several monolithic advances in the world of the processors we all use for our personal computers. First, the Nehalem architecture finally saw the light of day in the guise of the high-end Bloomfield i7 series of CPUs and despite those processors being priced relatively high, they found a footing among enthusiasts and professionals alike. In answer to this widening gap between Intel’s processors and their own, AMD released their revamped Phenom II processors which have taken the market by storm. Now, as this year draws to a close, we have another release to contend with: that of the Lynnfield series mainstream processors from Intel. More than literally any single year over the last decade of personal computer advances, this year has truly has all the makings of the beginning of a CPU renaissance.

So what is Lynnfield? Actually, that question should rather be “what’s in a name?” Lynnfield processors are part of the Nehalem architectural family and as such will carry both the i5 and the i7 designations depending on where they land on both the performance scale and the list of features they include. The i7 800-series will naturally include higher clock speeds and features while others won’t. However, one thing will be constant: even though some Lynnfield processors will be branded as i7, they will only be compatible with P55 (and upcoming lower end) / LGA 1156 motherboards. Bloomfield’s X58 is essentially off-limits for this new family of processors. Other than that, you will see in this review that Lynnfield in general could also be considered the industry’s worst-kept secret with early sales, leaked benchmarks and P55 motherboard previews galore marring what would have been an otherwise smooth launch.

In this review, we will take a somewhat long-winded look at both the i7-870 and the i5-750 processors along with a glance inside of the new P55 platform and everything this pairing will bring to the table. The best part about all of this for you the consumers is the fact that both the CPUs and the accompanying motherboards will be widely available from literally the moment you read this. There are also some pretty strong indications that the platform itself is already quite mature in the eyes of motherboard manufacturers and as such, you will see not only price-conscious products but also high-end, enthusiast-centric units as well.

With all these leaks over the past few months, people are naturally excited about Lynnfield and let us tell you right now: there is plenty of reason to be excited. As a mainstream processor family, everything points to this being a strong product but can the new i5 and i7 products make themselves a viable alternative for consumers looking for a budget-conscious entry into the Nehalem family? Let’s find out.


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