Intel Core i5 661 review

A dual-core chip with quad-core rivalling performance and built-in graphics? Intriguing

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Our Verdict

Fusion may be the future. But for now, this CPU-GPU chip costs too much and delivers too little.

Product features

  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Very fast for a dual-core chip
  • Graphics core less awful that we expected


  • It's still pretty awful
  • Way too expensive for a dual-core chip

Giving a dual-core processor performance to rival many quad-core chips is quite an achievement. Intel has managed just that with the Core i5 661. Problem is, it also costs as much as many quad-core processors.

The challenges for the dual-core Core i5 661 begin with Intel's own Core i5 750 and 760 chips. Both are cheaper than the 661 but pack a pair of extra cores. That's a fundamental advantage that even the Core i5 661's clever HyperThreading technology will struggle to overcome.

However, things get really silly when you consider the opposition from AMD. Not only does AMD offer a slew of quad-core chips for less money, including the range topping Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. Even the six-core Phenom II X6 1055T is cheaper. Crazy.

Of course, what none of the chip above can offer is the Core i5 661's integrated graphics core. Exactly how much that is worth, however, is another matter.

Tech Specs

Product TypeProcessor
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Thermal Design Power87 W
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Product FamilyCore i5 i5-600
L3 Cache4 MB
Clock Speed3.33 GHz
Processor SocketSocket H LGA-1156
Brand NameIntel
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
64-bit ProcessingYes
Thermal Specification69.8°C
L2 Cache512 KB
Product Seriesi5-600
ManufacturerIntel Corporation
Product Modeli5-661
Product NameCore i5 Dual-core i5-661 3.33GHz Processor
Package TypeRetail
Product LineCore i5
Input Voltage1.4 V DC
Manufacturer Part NumberBX80616I5661
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With intelligent performance that accelerates in response to demanding tasks, such as playing games and editing photos, the Intel Core i5 processor moves faster when you do. The Intel Core i5 processor automatically allocates processing power where it's needed most. Whether you're creating HD video, composing digital music, editing photos, or playing the coolest PC games with the Intel Core i5 processor you can multitask with ease and be more productive than ever.

Packaged Quantity1
Process Technology32 nm
Limited Warranty3 Year