It's a pretty good time to be a PC enthusiast. This past weekend saw the details of AMD's latest Ryzen processors leaked – a full range of 17 processors with 8C/16T R7 chips at the top, through to entry level 4C/4T chips. One thing we didn't learn though is how AMD will be pricing these chips, but Intel seems to be preparing for significant competition as rumours are circulating around of the firm preparing a "last-resort solution that represents a confession of indisputable weakness", according to French computer publication Canard PC.
Apparently, the mag's editors have been told that Intel is planning on adjusting the pricing of its Kaby Lake processors, along with introducing new chips to ward off the competition from AMD. Like previously mentioned, we have no idea how much AMD's pricing will disrupt the space, and Intel is in the same boat so we don't know just the extent of the price cuts.
Insider sources however have indicated that two new unlocked Kaby Lake chips have been designed in an effort to combat AMD. The details of them are apparently going to be thus:
- Intel Core i7-7740K: Base frequency of 4.3GHz, Turbo of 4.6GHz. 8MB of L3 cache. TDP of 100W.
- Intel Core i5-7640K: Base frequency of 4.0GHz. 6MB of L3 cache. TDP of 100W+. Plus last but not least - Hyper-Threading SMT support.
No your eyes do not deceive you, if the rumours are correct then this will be the first modern Core i5 to have Hyper-Threading enabled – a feature normally reserved for the i7 range. This doesn't come as a huge surprise though as Intel has already blurred the boundaries in its seventh generation Core processor range with the unlocked Core i3-7350K and the Pentium G4560 which is Hyper-Threading-enabled.
Now before you go shouting about Hyper-Threading i5s from the rooftops it's worth noting that not all of Canard PC's sources confirmed the feature, but the magazine says it will clear up the uncertainty by the end of the week when one of these mysterious and unanounced processors is set to arrive at its labs for testing.
Should all of this be true it would be a bit of a backpedal from the assertion that Intel had finished up the Kaby Lake launches at CES when it announced a full range of socketed destop processors, quad-core laptop chips for gaming laptops and mobile workstations, and a few additional laptop chips with higher clock speeds and better integrated GPUs.