Exclusive Intel has quietly begun shipping a clock-unlocked version of its mobile Core 2 Duo T7600 processor, but tracking one down may prove tricky. Not all PC makers are likely to offer the part - and those that do may not let slip the chip can be overclocked.
Dell quietly revealed the existence of the Core 2 Duo T7600G earlier this week when it announced a Blu-ray Disc supporting version of its XPS M1710 gamer-oriented laptop. Among the processor options offered to build-to-order byers was a 2.33GHz T7600G, priced at $275 more than the laptop's standard processor, the T7600, which is also clocked at 2.33GHz. Both CPUs have 4MB of L2 cache and run on a 667MHz frontside bus.
Dell's website provides no guidance on what that extra $275 buys you. Its handy pop-up window that discusses processors talks about a range of Intel CPUs, and while it uses the T7600 to show how model numbers work, there's no mention about what that 'G' suffix entails. Eventually, we found a page that mentioned the T7600G gives "extraordinary system control to tune and enhance performance".
Intel's website is no more forthcoming, but the chip giant's staff were helpful, revealing to Reg Hardware that the T7600G is a "non-roadmap" part that has frontside bus and core clocks unlocked and ready for overclocking attempts.
'Non-roadmap' means the part's not one of Intel's standard offerings, but has typically been produced to meet demand from one or more OEMs or because Intel can hit a specific price point. The higher price of the T7600G suggests the former, but whether the impetus came from Dell alone, Dell and others, or not Dell at all isn't known at this juncture.
Either way, it's the T7600G's overclockability that the $275 Dell wants for it above the price of a regular T7600 is for. Why can't the company mention this up front? ®