Summary: Most items we get in for review are pretty linear and have a clear-cut target audience. This makes our job easier as reviewers and your job easier as the consumer. Some products, however, like the new 32nm Core i3 and i5 chips, fall somewhere outside of this category which can complicate things a...
So where do the Core i5 600 series processors fit into the scheme of things? Well, if it means anything, a quick look at my favorite online retailer found 20 H55 motherboards. Out of the 20, 19 were mATX boards. There was one H57 board, and it was also mATX.
Pros: – Ondie graphics are here, eliminating the need for a separate video card or motherboard integrated graphics, – Perfect for HTPC or nongaming rig, – Excellent overclocker
Cons: – None as long as the processor isn’t used for 3D gaming
Conclusion: Even at its arguably inflated price, the Core i5-661 represents the sweet spot in the Clarkdale Core i5 lineup. The Core i5-670 adds fractionally more speed (3.46GHz vs 3.33GHz) and Trusted Execution Technology, but drops iGPU speed from 900MHz to 733MHz..
Pros: Good performance, Turbo Boost technology, Hyper-Threading technology, Integrated GPU provides excellent Windows Aero and HD content performance, 32nm process gives great overclocking headroom, Low power draw (when not overclocked)
Cons: Overpriced for the level of performance provided, Integrated GPU inadequate for even low-end gaming, Requires new motherboard to use integrated GPU, Very high power draw when overclocked, iGPU requires 32M-128M of memory for a frame buffer, Relationship between BCLK and iGPU clock unclear
Summary: The objective of the Dual Core i5 and i3 aren't to compete with the stronger Quad Core processors per se. Their purpose is to take what we as consumers appreciate about Dual Core processors and almost double the performance of previous generation parts without doubling the price.
Pros: Impressive innovation, Surprisingly low power consumption, Perfect for Home Theater and entry level PCs, 32nm overclocks to 4GHz and above, CPU offers more than enough power for gaming
Summary: Just like at the beginning of review I'll try to start off with good aspects of Clarkdale, or Core i5 661. First of all, innovative integration of the 45nm Northbridge with two 32 nm processor cores in one die is a huge step forward.
Pros: "Northbridge" module integration, New 32 nm process node, Low power consumption and heat output, Exceptional performance for a Dual Core processor, Overclocking potential
Cons: High Price, Memory and PCI-E controller not in processor core, No IGP control on P55 boards, Half of the Clarkdale chip is pure waste for gamers
Excerpt: After testing the Intel i5-661 processor for a month or so, I can definitely see where it will create a market for an affordable and much more simpler computer that will be easy on the wallet.
Excerpt: The Core i5-661 can't match the similarly priced, quad-core Core i7-750 in speed, but its integrated graphics and simpler chipset make it a good base for inexpensive PCs with better performance than earlier dual-core chips.
Pros: Excellent speed for a dual-core CPU, Decent integrated graphics built-in, Inexpensive
Cons: Requires newest motherboard chipset for graphics support, Confusing model designation