The vanilla Sandy Bridge lineup has a new chip in the Intel Core i7 2700K . As well as populating a new socket with the Sandy Bridge E Intel Core i7 3960X, it has seen fit to give us another brilliant processor, but what makes it different to the Intel Core i7 2600K?

Short answer: not a lot.

Not that long ago, things moved fast in the CPU industry.

Between 2005 and 2010, we progressed from piffling little 100 million transistor single-core desktop CPUs to six-core, billion-trannie mofos capable of implausible feats of number crunching.

During that period, the technology used to knock out computer chips has powered ahead, too.

We've transitioned through 90nm, 65nm, 45nm and 32nm silicon, with 22nm CPUs just around the corner. Along the way, we've picked up all manner of fabulous new chip tech, including SOI, strained silicon and latterly tri-gate and 3D transistors.

It was relentless stuff.

Indeed, Intel has committed itself to rolling out either a new CPU architecture or a new production process every single year.

And yet here we are at the apex of 2011 and 2012 wondering where it's all gone wrong. The evidence comes in the form of both of Intel's new PC processors.

We've proselytised plenty enough on the subject of the new Core i7-3960X. Suffice to say we view its hidden cores as evidence Intel has taken its foot off the gas.