Quad-cores for all – Intel’s price cut

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Santa Clara (CA) – Intel’s not-so-secret price cut has been officially announced.  The company slashed prices of its entry-level quad-core processors by 50% and also released six new processors in the Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Quad and Core 2 Duo lines.

The new pricing for 1000 unit purchases took effect on July 22.  The most dramatic cut was done to the Q6600 quad-core processor (2.40 GHz 1066 MHz FSB) which dropped to $266 – a tremendous drop considering the CPU was selling for $530 just one month ago.

The four new processors in the Core 2 Duo line are all 1333 MHz FSB parts and are the E6850 (3.00 GHz), E6750 (2.66 GHz), E6550 (2.33 GHz) and E6540 (2.33 GHz).  They cost $266, $183, $163 and $163 respectively.  Basically the only difference between the E6550 and the 6540 is that the 6550 has Intel’s “Trusted Execution Technology” which was formerly known as LaGrande Technology.

Eagle-eyed readers will see that the quad-core Q6600 is now the same price as a dual-core E6850.  At that pricing, computer geeks who need extra power for video rendering or multi-threaded applications probably will buy the Q6600 without batting an eye.  Gamers and other users who don’t need a quad-core would be better served with the faster front-side bus of the E6850 and other new processors.

Intel also launched two new quad-core processors, the 2.66 GHz Q6700 with a 1066 MHz FSB for $530 and the Core 2 Extreme QX6850 running at 3.00 GHz and 1333 MHz FSB.  Like other Core 2 Extreme processors, the QX6850 sells for $999.

Some online stores, like Newegg, have already slashed their prices on Intel quad-core processors.  Up until Friday, the e-tailer was selling the Core 2 Quad Q6600 for $399, but dropped the price to $299 over the weekend.  Curiously, the price has risen to $320 as of 11:00 AM PST today.