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Intel Core i7 870 review

A super fast CPU? Yup. But it's also super expensive

Our Verdict

A nice chip, but too expensive to be remotely relevant.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Quad-core (4 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Huge multi-threading performance
  • As quick as Bloomfield

Against

  • Not optimised for gaming
  • Stupidly expensive

It's day zero for Intel's new mid-range processor, the chip codenamed Lynnfield. Available in both Core i5 and Core i7 trim, it's the latter we test here, specifically the top spec Core i7 870 model.

The 870 is rated at 2.93GHz as standard, though Intel says with Turbo Boost enabled it can reach speeds up to 3.6GHz.

In our testing, Turbo Boost never achieved more than 3.2GHz. But before we get to the performance nitty gritty, allow us to recap the specs of this new Core i7 beast.

Despite the carry-over Core i7 branding, this is a genuinely new processor. It even requires a new socket, known as LGA1,156, and a new motherboard chipset, the P55. At the same time, it sports fundamentally the same 45nm processor architecture as the existing "Bloomfield" Core i7 processor, including monolithic quad-core layout, an integrated DDR3 memory controller and 8MB of L3 cache memory.

All of which may have you wondering why Intel is even bothering with the new Lynnfield chip. Why not stick with the Bloomfield Core i7 with its LGA1,366 socket and avoid confusing poor old punters with two mutually incompatible Core i7 chips?

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Thermal Design Power95 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i7
L3 Cache8 MB
Clock Speed2.93 GHz
Processor SocketSocket H LGA-1156
Brand NameIntel
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification72.7°C
QuickPath Interconnect4.80 GT/s
L2 Cache1 MB
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product ModelI7-870
Product NameCore i7 Quad-core I7-870 2.93GHz Processor
Product LineCore i7
Manufacturer Part NumberBV80605001905AI
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.intel.co.uk
Marketing Information

With faster, intelligent, multi-core technology that applies processing power where it's needed most, new Intel Core i7 processors deliver an incredible breakthrough in PC performance. They are the best desktop processor family on the planet.

Process Technology45 nm