Intel Reportedly Delaying Core i5 Processors

Oh, brother -- again already? Just days after we heard that Intel was delayed its long awaiting Itanium chip to better its performance before shipping, in flies word that the chip maker is delaying yet another processor, and this one's arguably even more significant. Needless to say, Intel's Core i7 has been a huge hit with gamers and multimedia lovers alike, and it has no doubt generated millions for the company.

Now, the processor's lower-end brother, which was on track to debut this July, will reportedly slip to early September. Indeed, we were even hearing about the Core i5 (codenamed Lynnfield) during CeBIT in March, but evidently things haven't gone quite as planned in Intel's laboratories. The news comes from undisclosed "sources at motherboard makers," which we tend to believe. Gigabyte was already showing off a Core i5 motherboard a few months ago, leading us to believe that the CPU was already dangerously close to market-ready.

So, why the wait? Naturally, the ailing economy is being blamed, with reports suggesting that Intel is simply pushing the Core i5 back in order to get more of its current inventory off of the shelf. Problem is, that's less likely to happen now that we know something better is just around the bend. As of now, we're expecting Core i5s to launch in 2.93GHz, 2.8GHz and 2.66GHz models, which will initially be priced at $562, $284 and $196 in 1000-unit quantities, respectively. If all goes well, they'll be available in the retail channel in early August, with suitable mainboards appearing even sooner. So, what are the chances these get pushed back yet again?