Intel Needs a Core i3 K – Here are 5 Reasons Why

Six months after the reveal of the overclocking capabilities of locked Intel 6th Gen Core Skylake processors, data analysis of the HWBOT enthusiast community suggests that Intel should genuinely consider launching an enthusiast-grade, unlocked Core i3 product. We look at five arguments in favor of a Core i3 K processor. (NASDAQ:INTC)

For all processor architectures prior to the second generation of Intel’s Core product line-up, the base clock frequency was unlocked and overclockable for all parts. Intel’s product segmentation was (and still is) defined by a locked CPU ratio, restricting the final processor operating frequency.

In recent years, new variants of Turbo Boost automatic overclocking have enabled higher operating frequencies for locked processors. But for PC performance enthusiasts there are but a few purchasing options; the -K or -X processor series. On mainstream platforms, there are exactly two options: a Core i5 (i.e. i5-6600K) and a Core i7 (i.e. i7-6700K).

Read the full opinion piece on HWinsights.


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Taiwan sdougal says:

A thought provoking article...

websmile says:

It is a good analysis, especailly for the starters and low budged teens or guys who want to make an entry to overclocking a Pentium or i3 at decent price would be great. In my opinion Intel would invest in its own future by releasing at least one unlocked i3 and Pentium each gen. People who start to oc this way or get curious and buy and then are drawn into oc are all potential customers for enthusiast K and even for HEDT platforms. I guess most of us started with cheaper cpus especially at times when unlocked oc was normal, like on s775, amd or up to 1366

Argentina Alan_Alberino says:

I think price will be a problem, i3-6320 is only U$S 20 below i5-6400 which is 4/4 and not 2/4 and also has 6mb of cache instead of 4, and the raise of the price due to the unlocked multiplier will put i3 K at same price tag than the lowest i5. If they sell it at i3-6320 price it would be nice, but that would need to lower price of the other i3 CPUs... Anyway I'll love to see a i3 K and probably buy one :D

United States Splave says:

Biggest reason, give the people what they want! IS this not business 101? It wouldnt cost them anything extra to unlock an i3 6320 and they could charge us $50 more for it and call it a i3 6358 devils bunghole edition.

Intel:"So what you're saying is you will pay us $160 for a part that we normally charge $110 for and all we have to do is not lock it?"
US:"......Thats correct....."
Intel:"Yeah no, lets not do that."

Its infuriating.

TaPaKaH says:

I said this before and will say this again: if Intel were to release an unlocked i3 now then they would have to do so in the every upcoming generation to avoid situations where old gen is superior to new gen. Meaning that some part of their OC-interested market will eventually migrate in a lower price bracket, which is something that they don't want in long-term.

If there is a demand for something, it does not necessarily mean that it's going to exist. For example, there is both demand and technical feasibility for the big telecom operators to offer unlimited 4G for 2€ a month. Guess why it's not happening?

Argentina Alan_Alberino says:

Splave said: Biggest reason, give the people what they want! IS this not business 101? It wouldnt cost them anything extra to unlock an i3 6320 and they could charge us $50 more for it and call it a i3 6358 devils bunghole edition.

Intel:"So what you're saying is you will pay us $160 for a part that we normally charge $110 for and all we have to do is not lock it?"
US:"......Thats correct....."
Intel:"Yeah no, lets not do that."

Its infuriating.

The problem its that i3-6320 its already U$S 160, and for 180 you can get a i5-6400... Like I said they should take down actual i3 prices to put a i3 K under i5 price tag, what means selling i3 K at actual 6320 price

websmile says:

On the i3, a clever company would find ways to offer this unlocked at decent price. Two easy possibilities to make these quite cheap and still attractive for ocers would be to unlock for example 6100, which has less cache than more expensive 6320. Second option, my favourite, would be to disable IGP on the unlocked core i3. Combined, a i3-6100K without igp and less cache than highest binned i3 6320 at a decent price would be a model very attractive to overclockers but not too tempting for normal office user.

Belgium Massman says:

Sam OCX said: I said this before and will say this again: if Intel were to release an unlocked i3 now then they would have to do so in the every upcoming generation to avoid situations where old gen is superior to new gen. Meaning that some part of their OC-interested market will eventually migrate in a lower price bracket, which is something that they don't want in long-term.

If there is a demand for something, it does not necessarily mean that it's going to exist. For example, there is both demand and technical feasibility for the big telecom operators to offer unlimited 4G for 2€ a month. Guess why it's not happening?


That analogy isn't really suitable. It's like saying it's technically feasible to offer 4c8t for the price of a Core i3.

The argument [MENTION=6723]websmile[/MENTION] makes is very closer to my personal opinion on why an affordable unlocked processor is a good idea. Allowing people who don't have the budget (yet) for a the higher price brackets where the unlocked SKUs to get familiar with the enthusiast grade products is a long-term strategy for up-selling to i5, i7 and HEDT.

From a financial point of view, there are many advantages to K SKU. The most obvious is the premium price tag compared to the locked counter-part. There's also a premium for the chipset (Z vs B/H). For Intel's eco-system partners there's XMP up-sell. There are more expensive cooling options. And so on.

I understand the point you make of having people migrate to a lower OC bracket, but it's based on your gut feeling rather than evidence. Besides, who cares if the Core i3 pulls people from i5? As long as there are more people going from i3 to i5 via K, it's all good. That's one of the five arguments in the article.

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