Despite trailing Intel in chip-for-chip performance over the past few years, AMD has still kept a measure enthusiasts love with its "Black Edition" desktop chips. Unlike Intel's generally stand-offish stance toward overclocking, the Black Edition Athlon and Phenom chips have provided the DIY and boutique PC crowd with a cost-effective, user-friendly means to increased PC performance. Intel's new K-Series CPUs, announced today, show that Intel sees value in that same market, and wants a piece of the action.
The K-Series launches with just two desktop CPUs, the $342 2.93GHz Core i7-875K, and the $216 3.2GHz Core i5-655K. The 875-K CPU is a four-core/eight-thread chip (via HyperThreading), and the 655K is a dual-core/four-thread chip. Both fall under the Lynnfield class of Intel's Nehalem architecture, and as such work on the LGA1566 CPU socket, found on Intel's P55, H55, and H57 motherboard chipsets.
What the K-Series brings to these new CPUs is the ability to overclock the individual CPU cores and memory frequencies. This method allows for more granular control than the bus-overclocking method commonly used with older Intel CPUs, such as the previous overclocker's favorite, the Core i7 920. With bus clocking, you end up applying one change that affects all of your components. With unlocked core multipliers, you have far more control, and can build your system accordingly.… Read more