Intel Core 2 price cuts when AMD Barcelona hits

March 12, 2007 // 2:51 p.m.

Tags: #1066fsb #1333fsb #amd #barcelona #core #duo #e4400 #e6550 #e6850 #intel #k8l #price #q3 #quad #x6800

Intel is slated for some rather massive price cuts in Q3, Chinese site HKPEC has reported. New 1333FSB CPUs are due for release at the same time, overwriting the existence of the standard 1066FSB CPUs it appears. Intel is also releasing another Quad core processor as well.

Whilst a Core 2 Extreme X6800 CPU running at 1066FSB/2.93GHz will set you back $1000 (£700-£800) now, a 3GHz, 1333FSB E6850 will only cost you $266. That's a 75% reduction in price for a faster CPU!

Other 1333FSB Intel Core 2 "50" CPUs are also due for release and are subject to a graduated price reduction also. However, the E6550, a 2.33GHz part is still tipped to run at the standard 1066FSB, despite it's "50" nomenclature.

Also, whilst it may seem the recently released E4300 looks like the first and last true Allendale Core 2 CPU we'll ever see according to the HKPEC roadmap, The Register reports that new E4400 and E4500 will debut at 2GHz and 2.2GHz respectively, also in Q3.

The reasoning for all this? Intel is ramping up their quad core evolution as the new high end, which means Core 2 Duo's are now "mainstream".

Since Q3 is also when AMD's new Barcelona core is due for release, it comes as little surprise that Intel is aggressively positioning their product line to make them continually attractive. What seems interesting though is perhaps Intel knows something we don't; since a price war isn't good for any company, could Intel be gearing up for a hard hitting Barcelona that gives their Core 2 architecture a run for its money.

Barcelona is a native quad core, so Intel doesn't want to be left behind on the quad core = ultra high end performance front. Even though some DX10 games like Crysis and UT3 are due out later this year, quad core "specific", Alan Wake, doesn't hit until 2008. We very rarely hear people complaining that dual core CPUs are not enough, and it's questionable if we see a benefit of four in the short-medium term future.

Regardless, a $1,000 CPU for a fraction of the price looks like it could become one hell of a bargain for everyone.
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