Retailers taking orders for laptops with Core i7 chips

The world's fastest laptops with Core i7 chips could be reaching homes soon

Retailers are now taking orders for what could easily be the world's fastest laptops, powered by Intel's speedy Core i7 desktop processors.

U.S. retailer AVADirect and Canadian retailer Eurocom are offering variants of Clevo's D900F laptop with the Core i7 processor, a chip usually included in high-end gaming desktops.

The chips, launched in November, were dubbed the "world's fastest chips" by Intel until the company's Xeon server processors were introduced in March.

The laptops will come with 17-inch screens and are intended to be desktop replacement PCs. The machines don't skimp on features and include a full array of components one would find in Core i7 desktop systems, according to laptop specifications on the retailers' Web sites.

AVADirect, in particular, decided not to wait to bring the Core i7 hardware to consumers in a portable form.

"While power usage will be higher, AVADirect does not need to wait until Intel or some other company designs and implements mobile offerings of current desktop hardware," AVADirect said in a statement.

Laptop hardware usually lags desktop hardware by up to 12 months, so the desktop hardware needed to be redesigned for notebook usage, AVADirect said.

The laptops come with Core i7 920, 940 and 965 quad-core processors running at speeds from 2.66GHz to 3.2GHz, and include 8MB of L3 cache.

The laptops draw 130 watts of power, and will come with the X58 chipset and an Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU) to boost graphics performance.

The laptops will support up to 6GB of DDR3 memory, which should provide a tremendous performance boost. The machines will support up to 1.5TB of RAID hard drive storage and include wireless 802.11a/b/g/n technology.

They will ship with either Windows Vista or Linux OS. Eurocom's customized Clevo D900F system -- which is called the Panther D900F -- weighs a whopping 11.9 pounds (5.4 kilograms).

With standard components, the D900F laptop's starting price is around US$2,500 on AVADirect's Web site.

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