Intel Core i5 661 Evaluate: Now With Constructed-In Graphics

Intel is in full swing with its core processor family at the beginning of the new year, as 6 new desktop processors and 11 mobile processors will be launched this month. There are 3 new chipsets for desktop PCs and 4 for mobility.

Today we're looking at the Core i5 661, one of four new Core i5 processors. The other models include the Core i5 650, 660 and 670. Based on this naming scheme, the Core i5 661 does not seem to fit quite well. Intel is also charging $ 196 for the 660 and 661 processors. However, we will break it down for you so that you have a thorough understanding of the new processor range announced today.

Before you get into that, however, you should know a thing or two about the new Core i5 600 CPUs. This new series is based on the 32 nm Westmere shrink of the Nehalem architecture and is code-named Clarkdale. It is extremely important that all processors in the series have an integrated GPU.

Obvious differences between the Core i5 660 and the 661 are that the latter does not support Intel's VT-d (Virtualization Technology for Directional I / O), vPro or Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT). The other major difference between the two is the clock speed of the GPU. While the Core i5 661 runs its 900 MHz GPU, the other Core i5 600 series processors, including the 660, use a 733 MHz GPU frequency. We don't currently know the reason for this distinction, but Intel plays it that way.

It is therefore possible for the first time to purchase a CPU with an integrated GPU that is completely separate from the chipset. This is known as general purpose calculation for graphics processors (GPGPU) and refers to the technique of using a GPU, which normally only does the calculation for computer graphics to perform calculations in applications that are traditionally processed by the CPU.

The Clarkdale processors have another claim, and this is said to be the first processor series to be built using a 32 nm Hi-K (2nd generation) design process. This should help improve efficiency and allow them to consume less power and generate less heat than existing processors, such as those based on Lynnfield architecture (45 nm).

No wonder Clarkdale processors need new chipsets and motherboards to support the integrated graphics. These new chipsets include Intel H55, H57 and Q57. Note, however, that the Clarkdale processors are compatible with existing P55 motherboards, although the integrated GPU can no longer be used.

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