New Intel CPU Chips

As a home office or small business owner you’re thinking… Why do I need to know about computer processors? Won’t most any off the shelf computer do?

Well, this is just a quick and dirty overview of the new CPU’s from Intel so when the salesperson at Best Buy is talking to you, you have at least some idea of what they’re talking about.

When I build a computer, I usually go with a processor that’s 2 levels or so below the high end. It’s a lesson I learned from my father, who always used to buy 2 year old Cadillacs – he got a good ride for about half the money.

Intel has just come out with some CPU chips that are a level below their top end, what’s called the i7 900 series. (Sounds like a car from Saab, doesn’t it?)

Here’s the highlights on the new quad-core chips:

i5 Core 750
2.66 GHz
No hyperthreading (would give you 4 more virtual processing threads)
Price: $210  (all prices from

i7 Core 860
2.80 GHZ
Price: $300

i7 Core 870
2.93 GHz
Price $580

These new chips are limited to two channels of memory with the 900 series having 3 channels (forcing you to buy 3 sticks of DDR3 memory).

The 900 series also doubles the through-put when using 2 graphics cards, but that’s something that should only concern hard core gamers.

Do you need all this horsepower for a business computer? If you are like me and usually have about 9 windows open or do any kind of video editing then yes, you do need some decent horsepower.

If I were building or buying a computer right now I would probably go with the 860 – a nice ride but half the price.

I’d also wait for Windows 7.

Further reading:

Intel’s new Core i7, Core i5 desktop chips bring faster CPUs to the maintream