Intel Core i5-661: A 32nm CPU with Integrated Graphics

CPUs|Motherboards
Viewing page 1 of 7 pages. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next
Intel Core i5-661: A 32nm CPU with Integrated Graphics

January 4, 2010 by Lawrence Lee

Product Intel Core i5-661
LGA1156 Processor
Manufacturer Intel
MSRP US$196

To kick off 2010, Intel has released a new batch of Core i7, i5 and i3 processors, codename Arrandale for laptops, and Clarkdale for desktops. These new CPUs are rather interesting in that there are two chips on the same package: a small dual core processor manufactured using their new 32mm fabrication process connected internally with QPI to a larger 45nm chip that houses the memory controller and an updated IGP that supports OpenGL 2.1, simply dubbed Intel GMA HD.


Clarkdale die image.

While quad core processors will continue to dominate the high-end desktop market, there is still a strong case to be made for dual core chips. They are more affordable (at equivalent clock speeds), use less energy and are thus easier to cool. And though they have half the cores, higher clock speeds are more of a benefit for some games and applications, not all of them. For the average Joe that doesn't spend hours encoding video or manipulating high resolution images with advanced filters, a 3+ GHz dual core CPU is often a better choice.

Comparison Table: Dual Core Core i5/i3 Desktop Processors
Model
Clock Speed
Turbo Speed
L3 Cache
TDP
Pricing*
Core i5-670
3.46 GHz
3.73 GHz
4MB
73W
$284
Core i5-661
3.33 GHz
3.60 GHz
4MB
87W
$196
Core i5-660
3.33 GHz
3.60 GHz
4MB
73W
$196
Core i5-650
3.20 GHz
3.46 GHz
4MB
73W
$176
Core i3-540
3.06 GHz
N/A
4MB
73W
$133
Core i3-530
2.93 GHz
N/A
4MB
73W
$113
* boxed price (1000 units)

The first six dual core LGA1156 processors have frequencies ranging from 2.93 GHz to 3.46 GHz with all models supporting hyper-threading so the operating system will see 4 threads instead of 2. For the budget-conscious, the Core i3's start at only $113 and the only major thing missing is the TurboBoost overclocking feature. The Core i5-661 runs at 3.33GHz but with TurboBoost enabled, overclocks to 3.60GHz when a demanding application is running that can only use one core. The speed is bumped up to 3.46GHz when both cores are active.


i5-6xx vs. i5-6x1.

The Core i5-661 is an unusual processor, in name and features. Both AMD and Intel desktop chips typically have a '0' or '5' at the end of their model numbers. The "1" indicates that the part in question has a higher speed graphics core and accompanying TDP, and lacks a few of Intel's lesser known technologies, the most notable being VT-d, which gives virtual machines the ability to directly access peripherals on their host. Features like this are usually only cut on lower-end parts, and the i5-661 is the only one of its kind for now, so it's a very odd duck indeed, resembling a Core i3 with an overclocked IGP.


CPU-Z screenshot: Core i5-661 at load with TurboBoost disabled.



Our Core i5-661 sample.



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next

CPUs|Motherboards - Article Index
Help support this site, buy from one of our affiliate retailers!
Search: