Intel and AMD have been selling overclocker-friendly processors with unlocked multipliers for quite some time now. Initially this option was reserved for expensive chips competing in the upper-tier of the market. However, with AMD's inability to deliver anything that can match Intel's most powerful offerings, the company has been experimenting with more affordable Black Edition processors to stay competitive in the low to mid end.
AMD presently has several quad-core Black Edition processors priced from $156 to $186, as well as a similarly unlocked dual-core Phenom II X2 going for as little as $120 -- even less if you get the OEM versions. Now it looks like Intel might follow its smaller rival with a Clarkdale or Lynnfield processor featuring an unlocked multiplier and lower pricing than their current Extreme Edition offerings.
Details are a little scarce for now, but in an interview with Tweakers.net
, Steve Peterson, Intel's head of marketing for the chipset division said they were considering the possibility. He specifically mentioned they would be designed for the LGA1156 form-factor and will belong to their Lynnfield and Clarkdale families of Core i-branded chips. Unfortunately, not much else was revealed so there's no word on a timeframe.