Earlier this week, Intel quietly released three new desktop processors aimed at different market segments, including one mainstream quad-core part that might catch the eyes of budding enthusiasts in the same way that the Q6600 did.
The Core 2 Quad Q8200 is clocked at 2.33GHz, comes with 4MB of L2 cache and a 1,333MHz front side bus speed – it's listed on Intel's official price list at $224 per processor when purchased in 1,000 unit trays; Scan, meanwhile, has it on sale for £158.50 (inc. VAT)
What's more there are several features missing from the chip – at least one of those may please some of you out there. There's no support for Intel's Virtualization Technology and Trusted Execution Technology is also missing as well.
The 4MB of L2 cache is also pretty light on the ground as well – it's 2MB less than what the Q9300 offers, and just half what a typical Kentsfield processor (like the Q6600) has. As a result, I'm not convinced that the Q8200 represents great value at its current price – not only does it have less cache than the Q6600, but the clock speed is also lower as well. The optimisations Intel made in the Penryn refresh may make up for that clock speed deficit, but there's a hefty difference in price – the Q6600 retails for just £126.77
Intel has also introduced the Core 2 Duo E5200, which features a 2.5GHz clock speed, 2MB of L2 cache, an 800MHz front side bus and is based on Intel's 45nm process technology. Overclockers has the chip on sale for just under £60
Finally, there's also a new Celeron – a 65nm, 2.2GHz processor with 512KB of L2 cache and an 800MHz front side bus speed. We've not found it available in the UK yet, but Intel lists it at $53 per chip in 1,000 unit quantities.
Earlier this week, AMD announced its latest run of price cuts but didn't introduce any new processors. AMD can compete against Intel's new offerings – its Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition fares pretty well against the Core 2 Quad Q6600, so it should also be on good terms with the Q8200. Where it falls down is on both power consumption and overclockability – areas where the Q8200 is likely to be very strong.
The E5200, on the other hand, will sit up against the Athlon 64 X2 5400+ Black Edition (2.8GHz, 65nm) and the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ (3.0GHz, 90nm). For out and out processor performance the E5200 is likely to come up trumps, but if you're after an integrated graphics solution, the AMD 780G chipset is better than anything Intel has at the moment.
At the bottom end of the spectrum, the Celeron 450 is likely to sit in the same price range as the Athlon 64 X2 4200+, which is available for just over £30 and that's going to be the more attractive option at this price point.
Do any of these processors entice you and do you think they bring anything new to the market? Tell us in the forums