Even though Intel is facing virtually no competition on the high-end processor market, the arrival of its Lynnfield-based Core i7 860 early last month threatened to cannibalize sales at the lower end of the enthusiast LGA1366 spectrum. The chip carries the same $290 price tag as the "Bloomfield" Core i7 920, yet it comes with higher clock speeds and Turbo Boost capabilities, a tighter power envelope, and fits into a cheaper platform.

Thus is not really surprising to hear Intel will be discontinuing the latter. However, rather than leaving a wide hole in its LGA1366 lineup, the chip maker will apparently be replacing it with a higher clocked Core i7 930 processor next quarter. The quad-core, eight thread part will run at 2.88GHz and should cost the same as its Core i7 920 predecessor.

Although still unconfirmed by Intel at this point, the move sounds plausible enough. We have already witnessed the replacement of the 3.20GHz Core i7 Extreme 965 with the 3.33GHz i7 975, as well as the 2.93GHz Core i7 940 with the 3.06GHz Core i7 950 and once again with the Core i7 960 running at 3.2GHz.