Intel has released the a new flagship Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, the i7-2700k, and reduced prices for other processors in the range.
The new Core i7-2700K is clocked at 3.5GHz with turbo speeds up to 3.9GHz. The quad core chip is otherwise similar to the i7-2600K, capable of handling eight threads and armed with 8MB of L3 cache.
Seen as an answer to AMD's recent release of the firm's new Bulldozer architecture, the move has effectively delivered the performance crown unequivocally back to Intel.
Several reviews had already suggested that AMD's latest could only catch Intel's former Core i7-2600K under certain circumstances, adding a clock bump to the top-end processor will do much to remove even those edge cases.
The AMD processor is, however, considerably less expensive at $245 in 1,000 chip volumes compared to the Intel Core i7-2700K at $332.
The move also prompted Intel to reduce the pricing of lower end processors, the Core i3-2120, Pentium G850 and G630 by around 15 per cent. The latest drop was the Core i3-2120 from $138 to $117 in 1,000-unit volumes.