Intel Arrandale Core i5 and Core i3 Mobile Unveiled
Asus K42F Arrandale Notebook
What's perhaps more impressive is the cost-efficiencies this new architecture brings to Intel's bottom line. Pictured above here, Arrandale is housed in the small rPGA 988 socket with the H55 Express Southbridge below it and not much more than a few passive, power, analog and connector components around it that make up the motherboard area. Incidentally, there were about 3700 screws to pull to get this deep into the machine but we're not shy on working up a bit of perspiration for our beloved audience. Up in the top right corner of this picture is Intel's 802.11n WiFi radio solution that is a small mezzanine daughter card and of course you see two SODIMM sockets here for system memory. Other than that, there really isn't much going on and it's surprising to see just how simplistic and elegant the design is that surrounds Intel's Core i5 Arrandale processor.
On the other hand, at first glance we would have projected this notebook would drop in closer to $800, rather than it's $1K price tag, according to Asus, with a Core i5 520M under its hood. However, we should underscore that this specific Core i5 SKU does come equipped with a combo DVD R/W/Blu-ray drive, which will ratchet up costs a bit. Also, Asus informs us there is a Core i3 350M (2.26GHz, no Turbo Boost) variant of the machine that will come to market as well, that will be priced around $729, with a standard DVD Super Multi drive and an ATI Radeon HD 5470 GPU tacked on for a bunch more gaming horsepower. Regardless, it appears Intel is commanding a premium for the Core i5 Mobile processor currently, though we're hopeful street prices will drift southward after launch and once in the channel with all the major OEMs. After all, we're talking about a 32nm processor core here and a 45nm GPU and Memory controller chip. The cost structure is in place for more competitive pricing.