I think that Intel is on to something with Clarkdale and the move to a CPU + a GPU. Sure, they took the idea from AMD who talked about this long ago, but AMD failed to execute on the concept. Personally I think that prior to hitting the process size and architecture that we see from Intel, putting a GPU either in the CPU die or on the packaging would not have been possible. There were too many things that needed to be done before it could work.
I am a little disappointed with the performance of the IGP. I would have liked to have seen a little more power for gaming than I did. Still, I cannot deny that the CPU portion is amazing. When I first ran through the tests I was disappointed in the results; then I reminded myself that I was testing a dual core CPU with two extra virtual cores against native quad cores and quad cores with Hyper Threading. Then the results came into focus.
The Core i5 661 is a great CPU, especially at the $200 price point. It performs very well for what it is and has great overclocking potential thanks to the 32nm process, lower power demands and some other nice improvements from Intel. I think that this CPU/GPU combo does have a place in the market and when paired with the right motherboard is capable of quite a lot.
So, even with the lack of gaming power, I think that Clarkdale is a great opening shot in the new war of stuffing the GPU into the CPU. I hope that AMD's return shot is just as good and also comes soon.
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