Articles: CPU

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Last week we posted an article called Core 2 Duo E6420, E6320 and E4400 Plus Another 15 Sub-$200 Dual-Core Processors, devoted to the upcoming launch of a few new Intel processors on Core micro-architecture. We compared the new Core 2 Duo E6420, E6320 and E4400 processors coming out on April 22 against the existing dual-core products from AMD and Intel. However, a few days later this comparison didn’t look fair any more because we didn’t have the info on the upcoming AMD price reductions at the time and hence we compared the Intel newcomers against slower competitor’s solutions.

The thing is that AMD, just like Intel, was getting ready to significantly correct their price list very soon, so all the conclusions we made in the previous article need to be revised taking into account new data. On April 9 AMD will respond with a price drop to the launch of new Intel processors and simultaneous price reduction on older Pentium D and Core 2 Duo models. Therefore, the CPU market is going to change dramatically in the second half of April: dual-core processors will be selling at a much lower price-point than before.

When we evaluated the performance level and price of the Core 2 Duo E6420, E6320 and E4400 processors in the previous article, we said: “…AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ should cost no more than $180, and Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and 4600+ - no more than $140, if they want to successfully compete with the new Intel CPUs…”. These words turned out prophetic. Having got our hands on the upcoming price changes for the dual-core AMD processors we got proof that AMD’s marketing department most definitely shares our opinion. So, let’s take another look at the existing information on the upcoming April changes in Intel’s pricing and product range and compare it with the new data on the price policy of the competition:


after 4/9/07

Intel CPUs

after 4/22/07

Core 2 Duo E6700


Athlon 64 X2 6000+


Core 2 Duo E6600


Athlon 64 X2 5600+


Core 2 Duo E6420


Athlon 64 X2 5200+


Athlon 64 X2 5000+


Core 2 Duo E6320


Athlon 64 X2 4800+


Core 2 Duo E4400


Athlon 64 X2 4400+


Core 2 Duo E4300


Athlon 64 X2 4000+


Athlon 64 X2 3800+


Pentium D 935


Athlon 64 X2 3600+


Pentium D 925


First of all, I would like to stress that this is an unofficial table. The suppliers never inform the consumers of the price-list changes for understandable reasons: this information may freeze the sales in the period of time before the price changes. Therefore, these numbers should be regarded as certain forecast (with almost 100% precision, though :)).

As you can see from the table above, this price drop promises to become one of the most impressive lately. Some CPUs will get down to less than half the price of what they used to be, and the youngest models with two computational cores will be offered at a way below $100 bar. In other words, if you are going to upgrade, April will offer great opportunities to increase your CPU performance at minimal costs.

By the way, it is remarkable that as the table suggests all AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors will be selling at less than $230. This way AMD admits openly that this processor family can no longer compete with the fastest representatives of the Intel Core 2 Duo family. In other words, AMD Athlon 64 X2 will no longer be positioned as a high-end solution: now it is just a dual-core solution for mainstream and budget systems. However, taking into account the new processor pricing, AMD processors should do really well in these price segments. So, our today’s article is going to deal with the new comparison of the AMD and Intel dual-core processors, according to the new prices posted in the table above.

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