Intel is remaining characteristically tight-lipped over the matter, but it appears that another Sandy Bridge chip is about to make a splash with enthusiasts.
Seemingly sure to bolster the LGA1155 line of processors, the chip giant is readying the Core i7 2700K, supplanting the incumbent 2600K as the fastest non-Extreme CPU.
From what we can gather by piecing together rumour and fact, the 2700K is a minor clockbump over the 2600K, which is available for around £230 today. Fleshing it out, here's how the new processor should compare with other K-series chips.
Intel Sandy Bridge K-series
|Processor||Intel Core i7 2700K||Intel Core i7 2600K||Intel Core i7 2500K|
|Top Turbo Speed||3.9GHz||3.8GHz||3.7GHz|
|Cores / Threads||4/8||4/8||4/4|
|Graphics||HD 3000+||HD 3000+||HD 3000|
Enthusiasts will know the 2600K is able to run way past its default clocks, with 4.5GHz-plus a routine overclock with reasonable air cooling. This tells us the 2700K is merely a 2600K with a modified specification at the factory.
The conservative clockspeed bump is standard Intel fare, opening up the possibility of a Core i7 2800K in the future, though Intel needs to be careful how it plays out the positioning between regular Sandy Bridge and Extreme chips - we'd be especially interested to see comparative performance figures of the unreleased 2700K and also-soon-to-market Core i7 Extreme 3820.
Heck, Intel may just be releasing the 2700K to rain on AMD's FX CPU parade, as it appears as if the headline act, FX-8150, can't give the 2600K a good licking. We'll know soon enough.
But you won't be buying a 2700K for its stock-clocked performance, we imagine, and folks over at coolaler's forum have ratcheted up an engineering-sample 2700K to 5GHz (50 x 100MHz BCLK) on air cooling. Nice! Core i7 2700K or FX-8150? Decisions, decisions, especially if the new Intel chip's arrival is a catalyst for price-cutting on other K-series processors.