Quad-core PCs starting to play with mainstream market

  • Irvine (CA) – Gateway today announced one of the first quad-core PCs to become available in retail stores across the country. The systems are still carrying lofty price tags, but are substantially cheaper than the enthusiast quad-core PCs that have been available so far.

    Intel’s most recent round of processor price reductions has opened the door for system builders to create quad-core computers that are positioned in a segment that was reserved for higher-end dual-core desktops. Gateway is the first manufacturer that takes advantage of this scenario and offers two pre-configured retail models that are about $700 cheaper than comparable products from competitors.

    Based on the firm’s enthusiast-aimed FX series, Best Buy has begun selling the FX8020 system that comes with Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor, a 512MB ATI Radeon X1950 Crossfire video card, 2 GB memory, Gigabit Ethernet, and a 500 GB hard drive space for $2100. Comp USA, Microcenter and J&R offer a slightly upgraded model (FX8030) that includes a second 500 GB drive and is priced at $2300.


    Gateway FX-series desktop. Click here to see more images of the PC.

    A quick look over to the competition reveals that Dell has not yet adjusted its PCs for the new price of the Core 2 Quad 6600, which dropped from $851 to $530 on April 7. Buyers who are looking for a Q6600 computer will have to look at least at the firm’s XPS710 system. Dell still asks for an $800 premium over a system with the base E6300 dual-core processor and charges $2800 for an XPS710 that is comparable to Gateway’s FX8020.

    HP has not yet begun offering quad-core computers and sends interested customers to its subsidiary VoodooPC instead. However, HP already has applied Intel’s price reductions in the dual-core space. The E6700 currently is priced at a $280 premium over the base E4300 and is offered in complete systems from $1230.