Intel launches first mobile Core 2 Extreme, 3 GHz quad-core and FSB1333 CPUs

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Santa Clara (CA) – Intel introduced six new Core 2 Duo variants, bringing the total for notebooks and desktop PCs to 29 different models: The Core 2 Extreme X7800 is the new flagship of the mobile CPU portfolio, new 2.66 GHz and 3 GHz quad-core desktop processors as well FSB 1333 dual-core chips extend the mainstream product line. Price cuts ring in a new round in the price war with AMD.

Intel is showing off its firepower with half a dozen new processors which extend the company’s performance lead both in the mobile and desktop space. The new X7800 is the first “Extreme” mobile processor that has adopted the enthusiast-aimed brand from the firm’s desktop CPUs. The CPU, clocked at 2.6 GHz, is the first of two expected versions, with an X7900 (2.8 GHz) expected to follow later on.

According to Intel, the power consumption of the processor climbs to 44 watts, up from the 35 watt power envelope of other Core 2 Duo T-series processors. The company also claims that the chip is “the world’s highest-performing mobile processor,” which shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Intel has been offering the fastest mobile processors for quite a while. AMD has not claimed that title with any of its mobile processors yet and recently declined to comment on whether the upcoming Griffin mobile processor will be able to challenge the performance of Intel’s 65 nm Merom cores or 45 nm Penryn cores in 2008.

Intel noted that it will be offering a “battery friendly” quad-core processor for notebooks next year.

For the desktop, Intel introduced its FSB1333 upgrade for Core 2 Duo E-series. The upgraded chips of the E6x50 series include the E6850 (3.0 GHz), E6750 (2.66 GHz) and E6550 (2.33 GHz). There is also a new FSB1333 quad-core chip for gamers (QX6850, 3.0 GHz) and a FSB1066 quad-core for the upper mainstream (Q6700, 2.66 GHz).

These new processors come with a somewhat unexpected steep price drop, which is likely to increase the pressure on AMD once again. Let’s have a look at a current list of tray-prices (1000-units) as well as retail prices:

 

Intel C2Q/D DT processors
AMD X2 desktop processors


Model
Tray
Retail
Model
Tray
Retail
QX6850
999
N/A
FX-74
599
668
QX6800
1199*
1304
FX-72
599
N/A
QX6700
999
919
6000+
178
174
Q6700
530
N/A
5600+
157
152
Q6600
530* (266**)
471
5200+
136
128
E6850
266
N/A
5000+
125
133
X6800
999
975
4800+
115
129
E6750
183
N/A
4600+
phased out
106
E6700
316*
323
4400+
94
97
E6600
224*
223
4200+
83
116
E6550
163
N/A
4000+
73
N/A
E6420
183*
184
3800+
phased out
68
E6400
183*
182
3600+
phased out
66
E6320
163*
162
BE-2350
91
N/A
E6300
163*
163
BE-2300
86
N/A
E4400
133*
138
     
E4300
113*
127
     
E2160
84*
95
     
E2140
74*
85
     

Tray: US-$ prices taken from official processor price lists published by AMD and Intel (PDF)
Retail: Average U.S. retail prices on July 13, 2007 in US-$. Source: Pricegrabber.com

* Price before anticipated price reduction
** Price after anticipated price reduction

Intel is using its quad-core processors to dominate the segment of upper mainstream processors between $300 and $600. The prices of the E6x50 series suggest that another big price drop for the E6000/4000 series is on its way, which could mean that AMD’s latest dramatic price adjustment may not enough. While the E6850 is priced significantly above the fastest AMD X2 CPU, the E6750, which is expected to offer superior performance when compared to the 6000+, is priced in the neighborhood of AMD’s fastest mainstream processor. Next down, the E6550 undercuts the tray price of the 6000+ by 9%.        

Volumes in the enthusiast arena are low, but Intel has put a lot of effort in pulling gamers on its side and establishing itself in this prestigious and emotion-filled market segment. Currently there are four processor versions that are selling in the $1000 range, three of which are quad-core CPUs. AMD still cannot match Intel in this field with the 4x4 processors FX-72 and FX-74 trailing Intel in volume, performance and price.

Intel’s latest Core 2 Duo salvo highlights once more that AMD will need competitive Phenom X2 and Phenom X4 processors rather sooner than later.