Where once there was three, now there are two.  At least that’s what we are hearing when it comes to the Intel Core i7 Nehalem processors; the Core i7-965, i7-940 and i7-920 are the only three desktop-ready parts that sport the newest architecture from Intel’s engineers but it seems one of them is already on the chopping block.

The mid-grade Core i7-940, which runs at 2.93 GHz, is being replaced by a new CPU, likely the Core i7-950 which should run at a slightly higher speed of 3.06 GHz.  This might also coincide with new top-end CPU release coming down short as well as the rumored Core i7-975 would run at something over 3.2 GHz.

Don’t worry though if you were planning on ordering one of these parts, the Core i7-940 will be available until at least November of 2009 for partners and OEMs.  This just means that newer (and hopefully a cheaper?) Core i7 will likely be released sometime in the summer.
Since the launch of the Nehalem platform in November 2008, the Core i7 family has received a moderately low adoption rate by the average consumer due to the nature of the platform’s overall cost. Not to mention, recent comments by Nvidia support the claim that high-end consumers would rather prefer dual-GPU benefits over a Core i7, even the least expensive 920 model.

On another note, it is interesting that the Core i7 C0 stepping is retiring so early, although this was more for cosmetic purposes rather than performance improvements. Intel states “market demand for the Intel Core i7 940 Processor has shifted to other Intel processors” and advises that tray processors will ship until November 5, 2010, while all retail packaged customers should switch to tray (OEM) orders for long-term support.