The list of new solutions that Intel has streamed down onto the processor market hasn’t been exhausted yet. Mastering of 45nm production technology allowed the company to refresh their entire product lineup, and Intel continues working on it still. Top processors acquire new faster and more economical cores, while mainstream CPUs and their low-cost counterparts keep conquering higher clock speeds day by day. We have already devoted a few articles on our site to the currently happening lineup refresh, however, there are still a few hot topics left top be discussed.
The thing is that 45nm technology has only settled in the dual-core Wolfdale processors so far. The quad-core CPUs are not rushing to move over to the new production technology. Although three processors on new cores from the Core 2 Quad family were mentioned among the solutions announced in early January 2008, they haven’t started shipping yet. In fact, there is only one quad-core Yorkfield processor currently available in stores: the unacceptably expensive Core 2 Extreme QX9650, which can hardly be regarded as a popular and widespread solution.
As for the shipments of more mainstream Yorkfield processor models, there is a small delay here, because the engineers needed more time to fix the problems with processor stability in systems built around some types of mainboards. However, this delay will very unlikely affect Intel’s situation in the market. Today’s quad-core AMD processors from Phenom family cannot compete even with the slowest Core 2 Quad CPUs of the previous-generation. Therefore, Intel got a great opportunity to get rid of the older processor stock.
Nevertheless, Intel cannot hold off the launch of mainstream quad-core Yorkfield processors any longer. The market has already been warmed up enough with dual-core Wolfdale CPUs that demonstrated their convincing advantage in consumer features over the predecessors. As for quad-core CPUs Intel traditionally designs them as a combination of two dual-core dies in a single packaging that is why the users are very impatient to see the new Yorkfield processors that would represent a combination of two Wolfdales in a single packaging. New Core 2 Quad processors based on 45nm cores should boast all those advantages that made the new Core 2 Duo E8000 series extremely popular from day one.
At the same time, the new Yorkfiled processors selling under Core 2 Quad Q9000 series brand name will hardly enjoy as much demand as their E8000 counterparts. These CPUs will be relatively expensive, their official prices will start at $266 – the top price point for dual-core Core 2 Duo. However, although quad-core processors haven’t been any cheaper before, they are becoming popular very rapidly, mostly thanks to the youngest model in the lineup – the Core 2 Quad Q6600. When Yorkfield will actually come out, 45nm quad-core Core 2 Quad Q9300 will also be offered at about the same price and with the time it will replace its predecessor completely. Of course, this model from the refreshed Core 2 Quad family will become the most interesting solution.
That is why while everyone is still waiting impatiently for the promising Core 2 Quad Q9300 to appear in stores in early March, we would like to give you the opportunity to check it out in our detailed review.