Paper Launch? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Paper Launches! Ivy Bridge Pops Up in Retail

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News Posted: Mon, Apr 30 2012 9:05 AM
Product launches are a funny thing. Companies often hoot and holler and celebrate the 'launch' of new products days in advance of when you can actually hop online and order the darn thing, which is exactly what happened with Ivy Bridge. These are known as 'paper launches' and they're not unique to Intel. Try shopping an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (Kepler) graphics card, for example, and you'll see what we mean.

Unlike's NVIDIA's latest and greatest GPU, Intel's newly minted Ivy Bridge chips are in stock and now available to purchase in the retail sector. There are two new generation Core i7 desktop parts showing up online:
  • Core i7 3770K (3.5GHz - 3.9GHz, 8MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 4000): $350
  • Core i7 3770 (3.4GHz - 3.9Ghz, 8MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 4000): $320

For those of you on a lesser budget and/or with lower power needs, there are also three Core i5 variants available to purchase:

  • Core i5 3570K (3.4GHz - 3.8GHz, 6MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 4000): $250
  • Core i5 3550 (3.3GHz - 3.7GHz, 6MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 4000): $220
  • Core i5 3450 (3.1GHz - 3.5GHz, 6MB L3 cache, Intel HD Graphics 2500): $200

The Core i5 3550 may emerge as the sweet spot since it has the higher end graphics core and is only $20 more than the Core i5 3450, which is saddled with Intel HD Graphics 2500. In making your decision, note that there are just two unlocked K series processors, which could be a factor if you plan to overclock.

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The i5 3550 is certainly looking like it is going to be the winner as far as price/performance balance. I find it interesting though that Intel included hyper threading on the i3 and the i7 and not on the i5.

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Well, actually, that does make sense. The i5 + HT = i7.

i3: 4 threads, on 2 actual cores

i5: 4 threads but on 4 actual cores

i7: 8 threads but on 4 actual cores

Each one is a step up. Giving i5 HT would make the gap between i3 and i5 too big :)

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OSunday replied on Tue, May 1 2012 12:51 AM

What on earth is the difference between the Core i7 3770K and the Core i7 3770, aside from the .1GHZ stock speed difference and why does that justify a $30 price change, and why would they produce two separate products that appear identical aside from that one little discrepancy??

Can someone please answer that for me, I'm seriously dumbfounded.

Does the K represent more unlocking or overclocking potential or something?

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@OSunday The K represents the ability to overclock the processor. The version without the K is much more difficult to unlock and overclock (if its even possible at all). So if you want to achieve speeds faster than what Intel advertises, go for the 3770K and overclock that thing!

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All things are difficult before they are easy.

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Can someone please answer that for me, I'm seriously dumbfounded.

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