It's that time of year again, Christmas is in the air, the smell of pine trees gracing the lab, CES just around the corner, and above all else the smell of a new CPU going through burn in testing on the test rig.
Intel was nice enough to send in one of their LGA 1156 i5 661 32nm dual core CPU's that run at a blistering 3.33GHz out of the box. They also sent in an LGA 1156 DH55TC motherboard which is primarily designed for HTPC/Media applications. We'll be taking a look at both with the primary focus on the CPU with it's newly integrated graphics that sit on the processor itself. Yes Intel has delivered a CPU with graphics integrated on the CPU.
We can hear the groans from the serious enthusiasts already, 'Oh no integrated graphics'. Well we were a little skeptical ourselves until we ran it. It's not a powerhouse integrated graphics but it's more than adequate for Blu-Ray playback, light gaming, and most end users won't need anything more powerful than the integrated graphics built into the chip. That's saying a lot for an integrated graphics solution. We also ran the i5 661 in a high end Asus Maximus 3 board with a discrete GPU to see if the integrated graphics were going to interfere with discrete GPU usage and had no problems with running several discrete GPU's we tried so if integrated graphics isn't what you need the i5 661 will allow you to go to a discrete GPU. Before you think discrete GPU though you might want to look at the 3DMark Vantage results on the Intel HD integrated graphics.