It’s about Freakin’ Time! INTEL has an Unlocked i3
It’s not asking too much! Budget builders like to overclock their CPUs, even if they can’t spend $200+ on them. So INTEL releasing an unlocked version of their i3 lineup of CPUs is huge news, in spite of some of the other news that doesn’t seem so good lately. While an unlocked i3 is a great idea for the budget enthusiast, I’m wondering what this means for the i5.
The i3-7350K has quite a few features going for it. Not only do we have an unlocked multiplier (Finally!), but we have 4 threads in 2 cores, a 4.2 GHz boost clock and 4 MB of L3 cache. This would make it an amazing budget chip and if it wasn’t for AMD working on ZEN, I might have to kiss the FX series goodbye entirely. If the chip prices at $180, that would be steep but it could range as far down as $150 which is much more reasonable. The big issue with this release is what it does to the i5. Both chips offer 4 threads, although the i5 at least has 4 individual cores. Still, I’d be surprised that the performance on an i5 would really justify the extra cost at this point. Where does INTEL go from here?
I think INTEL could’ve have destroyed the CPU market if they had done one more change with their Kaby Lake lineup. Rather than release a chip that has 4 cores, what if the i5-7600K kept the multi-threading, but only had 3 cores? With 6 threads, you’d have the perfect middle ground processor that splits the difference between the i3 and i7. Each tier could have it’s own unlocked and locked versions, giving consumers some of the best choices per budget we’ve ever seen. All I can say is if you have a voice that makes it to INTEL, start planting the idea right away!