Intel quietly slips out Core i7-930, future for 920 uncertain

By on March 8, 2010, 2:34 PM
Intel has quietly introduced a new processor to the Core i7 family. The Core i7-930 offers a minor step up from the 920 -- both in specs and price. According to Intel's official price sheet, the 930 is priced at $294, while the 920 is $284. Newegg is currently selling the chips for a $6 difference at $294.99 and $288.99.

The i7-930 and 920 are seemingly identical apart from their clock frequencies. Each has four cores and eight threads, 8MB L3 cache, 4.8 GT/s QPI, a triple-channel memory controller, and a 130W TDP. The extra six bucks gets you a 2.80GHz clock speed with a 3.06GHz Turbo Boost, instead of 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz. Given the minor differences, Intel may phase out the i7-920 altogether, but that is currently unknown.

It's worth noting that the Core i7-860 is arguably a better buy than either 9xx chip. For $279.99 it offers a 2.80GHz base speed with a 3.46GHz Turbo Boost, a 95W TDP, and it runs on a cheaper platform (LGA1156 versus LGA1366).




User Comments: 40

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cyrusjumpjet cyrusjumpjet said:

Meh... the 920 has already held out for a surprisingly long time. I built my system with an i7 920 in December of 08 and I'm happy to see that it's still one of the best selling CPUs on the market. At the very least, I think the speed increases that the 930 brings looks good on paper.

EduardsN said:

I would like to see this compared to the i7 920 on some benchmarks,

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Kind of odd that they would introduce something that is near identical to an existing processor and for a whopping $6 more. What's the point?

And agreed about the i7-860.

Fotis said:

This is managerial issues... Intel tries to sell more trying to cover different and more extensive variety of users... All ix series have something different. Different sockets, different memory controllers core frequencies and caches. But, this tends to be more confusing I believe.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

They probably tweaked some manufacturing processes, made a few in-roads, and decided this was the product they would continue to produce until the end of the generation cycle. It's not worth a big number change, but a subtle one to indicate slight increases in performance makes sense.

At least they're not repackaging this retooling of the current gen as a next gen processor with a deceptive new numbering tier, like some other manufacturers we know <cough> <cough> <nVidia> <cough>

seefizzle said:

Is there a real point to this upgrade? I mean it's nothing mindblowing here. Definitely nothing to warrant buying a whole new processor. But I guess for the people like me who buy the best processor they can get when building a new machine it's a way to eek out another 9 dollars.

raie_noire said:

These chips are way too expensive.. As a student I have no where near the amount of money to get one of these things and upgrade the computer.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Intel have already "quietly introduced" upgraded versions of their other i7 9xx series processors and phased out the earlier versions so it would seem that the 930 is pretty much just a replacement for the 920.

These processors are still too expensive though and cost the same, if not more than when they were first released. Same goes for the X58 mobos. AMD need to inject some competition into the high end!

ludoboss said:

Its clear. Atm Intel has (or seems have) a great advantage. Intel aim to kill Amd as fast as possible. This appear the only field where if this happen we however have a benefit. The truth is that the hardware upgrade is going 3 time fast than software.

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I saw this sometime last week, and it does look interesting. It did kind of sway my thoughts more to the 900 series then the 860 which i had been contemplating. I am kind of waiting to see how the hexacore chips turn out first though.

natefalk natefalk said:

I would be interested in seeing some benchmarks compared to the i7 860. They might have been thinking that the 920 doesn't improve enough on the 860 (in terms of performance) and they want more people going to the 1366. They release a 930 so people who are comparing benchmarks see that the 930 is better and go with 1366 socket.

I ran into this a couple months ago when I was deciding on a socket for my new PC. Everywhere I read said the 860 was just as good, if not better, than the 920 and on a cheaper platform. So I went with the 1156 in the end.

CodePhoeniX said:

I am debating on which to get, the phenom II x6 or an i7

I estimate the top end x6 to be $300 and i think the i7 930 will still preform better than the x6.

Eddo22 said:

Right now clock speed is what matters for AMD. So getting a quad core @ 3.4ghz is probably better than a six core at 2.8ghz (which is apparently the fastest six core due at the time).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Kind of odd that they would introduce something that is near identical to an existing processor and for a whopping $6 more. What's the point?
Dude, it probably is a 920.

princeton princeton said:

But it is a nice increase over the 920s pathetic 2.66GHZ.

Wagan8r Wagan8r said:

But if you live near a Micro Center, the Core i7 920s are only $200 for in-store pick-up, so really, these are the best value.

[link]

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

But it is a nice increase over the 920s pathetic 2.66GHZ.
Oh, I'm on board with that. Let Intel do the overclocking, as long as they honor the warranty.

Pathetic is kind of harsh though. That said, I am looking forward to using the faster one that I'm sure you're going to design.

ToastOz said:

Everyone knows Intels Golftown and possibly all other new processors are going to be running on the LGA 1366 So although the core LGA 1156 i7 860 is cheaper it won't be upgradable. Also dual channel memory of the LGA 1156 compared to triple channel memory of LGA 1366 shows that performance of the 860 is actually slower than the 920 in most benchmarking.

The new faster 930 will be nice for the price and I laugh at people saying that the 920's 2.67ghz is pitiful when I'm currently running my 920 clocked at 4ghz+ (Do stepping with only 1.231v on the core) with my ice cold water cooler keeping temps lower than standard 2.67ghz clocks with a intel default cooler(65 deg cel max with prime95 4 hours). Plus the tipple channel memory gets a 7.9 out of 7.9 in Win 7 score (1600mhz 6gig with xmp active).

Although I do agree if you don't overclock this 930 from intel is great for you as it's automatically overclocked for you and gives you the chance to upgrade to later cpus down the track.

CodePhoeniX said:

Eddo22 said:

Right now clock speed is what matters for AMD. So getting a quad core @ 3.4ghz is probably better than a six core at 2.8ghz (which is apparently the fastest six core due at the time).

There will be a 3.6ghz phenom II quad core around the time of the X6 launch

That was also one of my considerations.

However if the X6's turbo boost (idk what it is called exactly) is 800MHz then i will probably go the 6core route.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I don't see this as anything weird. If a person already has a 1366 MOBO, chances are they have the 920 already. Why spend an extra $300 on something more or less similar?

If you're going to build a new rig, of course you'd go for the newer chip. Its been over a year, I expect a new chip, really.

But the 920 is awesome. On air cooling I got it up to 3.8 although I had heat problems in the case, I just installed a H50 and I'm running at 3.66 which runs as cool as at 2.66 on air.

Going to start ratcheting it up once I let the cooler break in a little more.

ToastOz said:

Don't forget good T.i.M I'm using that thermal paste made out of diamonds it made a huge difference in dropping temps about 5-10 deg for me, even the artic silver 5 paste is great stuff.

It's good how cpu manufacturers allow for performance increases in there products a lot of the older cpus 10-20% was about all they could improve before errors. Possibly to do with the smaller Die sizes of the cores hopefully the trend continues with 32nm processors.

Renegeek said:

I think intel is doing a great job, on improveing on the processors, it gives people different choices, for speeds, and i think they are trying to beat AMD for going Green. so may posibilties...

seefizzle said:

slh28 said:

Intel have already "quietly introduced" upgraded versions of their other i7 9xx series processors and phased out the earlier versions so it would seem that the 930 is pretty much just a replacement for the 920.

These processors are still too expensive though and cost the same, if not more than when they were first released. Same goes for the X58 mobos. AMD need to inject some competition into the high end!

I bought AMD simply because I didn't want to pay the intel tax. I have the Phenom II X4 965, 3.4 ghz processor. It can handle anything I throw at it.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The primary difference between the 920 and 930 is likely to be the bugs (and fixes) that that are inherent in most (if not all) CPU's.

Intel make this information available and relatively easy to access from their site- at [link]

in the case of the i7 920 and 930. Contrary to popular belief a new stepping for a CPU isn't primarily aimed at better overclocking.

There is a possibility I suppose that the 920 is being discontinued because the latest revision (the Newegg/IPEX Special Edition) has less than stellar performance when pitted against the slightly better performing Phenom II (JK)

ToastOz said:

Reducing bugs reduces the heat, reducing the heat increases overclocking ability. The original 920's (CO stepping) could only reach 4ghz at 1.4-1.5v core or higher the newer 920 with D0 stepping can reach 4ghz with a lower 1.25-1.3v depending on each persons CPU, allowing for expansion in the overclocking of the cpu or at very least increasing stability of the cpu. I owned both 920's as my first 920 (C0 stepping) burnt had problems and got replaced by a newer D0 stepping 920.

I'd imagine with release of the latest 930 it's ability to be overclocked will be even higher.

ToastOz said:

Apparently the new i7 930 actually has a multiplier of 21 instead of the 920's 20. I found after hitting 4.46ghz (turbo enabled) on my 920 that the motherboard can't handle the bclk much higher than 213 (without better cooling on the NB chip-set). So with the higher multiplier you should be able to increase the 930 to 4.66ghz(or 5%'ish) over a standard i7 920 without to much trouble from a standard x58 same motherboard(with extreme cooling only).

Also in this initial review of the i7 930 they were able to get to 4ghz with standard crappy intel cooler on the processor which is pretty insane. [link]

I can't even imagine how high you could go with a decent cpu cooler the only limit to this processors speed when overclocking will be the x58 board you purchase to go with this monster.

Flip to page 8-9 of the link for overclocking review.

DryIce said:

Even without considering clock speed the 930 is probably the better processor. It's more recent and there are probably some bug fixes.

Serag said:

The only reason I can see for the 930 is to revive the 920 sales through it, and of course I predict that 920 would be stopped,

cocodel said:

Intel is doing great job on CPU market but theyr prices are sky high.Why need six core, eight core and no software is written to take advantage of multiple core? AMD doing balance betwen price and performance and if they keep going like that may force Intel to cut heavely on prices and this is good for customers )

fref said:

Intel just wants to update it's older products by replacing them with improved parts, which is always good for us. I would probably go with the i7 860, though, despite this new offering. Motherboards for socket 1366 are much more expensive.

Puiu Puiu said:

I personally prefer the i7 8xx series over the 9xx ones. I feel like i would be paying more for nothing extra. Only those who use dual 5970 benefit from that platform. Waste of money in my opinion.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

i don't feel that it will be good for those already having the 920 to go for an upgrade, but to those builind a new system (like me) can be appealing. Now i need an eraser, for i already made my list...

see ya around

cheers!

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

I'll be slipping in a intel 6 core cpu in july probably. My 920 is doing well for now. I dont work on the computer so when I am on I want it to be snappy. i bet most of us spend 5% of our work time on the computer waiting for things to load. After a month that time is well time kept I think.

thebluemeaner said:

I hate it that even though core i3, i5 and i7 are out, processor prices for the core2 line are not going down.

levar said:

Given the minor differences from the 920 and 30 is this some kinda of upgrade is something wrong with the 920 why they MIGHT phase out? The Core i7-860... if you want to put it that way it offers a faster clock speed, has the same L3 cache a 35 TDP different and runs and a cheaper platform thats just less performance than the 930/20 if thats what you're looking for.

rskapadia2294 said:

waitin for bench marks! intel is going a great way ahead! its the best!

jasonk1229 said:

I hate the fact that they are eliminating their high end line, sad indeed

JMMD JMMD, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I would still take the The Core i7-860 over this. Seems like a much better deal with the cheaper supporting hardware.

Yoda8232 said:

What an upgrade from a i7 920, well this is a business. -_-

techsp10 said:

Intel is just showing how competitive they are with fast pace of the technology. Most likely the difference between 920 and 930 are their price of course, their specifications and future plans.

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