Any views, even if they are based on your life experience, should be revised from time to time. Especially since technological progress as well as certain companies’ engineering and marketing efforts may seriously affect these views with the time. Even if you are not checking out computer hardware price-lists and news on a regular basis, you still understand, how unstable the situation in the computer market actually is and how frequently it changes. That is why we believe it is essential to perform large comparative test sessions for different hardware components every now and then, because results of these tests may be very helpful in painting the complete picture of the current market situation at a given moment of time.
Today we would like to offer you a material like that. Our article will discuss the current situation in the processor market, which has changed dramatically over the first few weeks of 2008. It is really high time we questioned the ability of AMD processors to still offer attractive price-to-performance features despite constant pressure from the Intel solutions. This January Intel managed not only to launch new dual-core CPUs based on 45nm cores and featuring larger L2 cache, higher clock frequencies and SSE4 instructions support. Besides, they have also supplied faster CPU on 65nm cores – Pentium E2200 and Celeron E1200, which may also seriously affect the situation in the CPU market together with the Core 2 Duo E4600 processor launched last October. However, AMD didn’t keep its hands in pockets either. They dropped the price of their dual-core solutions again, changing the situation in the market a lot.
In other words, it definitely makes a lot of sense to compare the currently available processors against one another from multiple aspects. This time we are going to focus on dual-core CPUs that have already taken over the biggest part of the market these days. They are available in all price ranges with only exception of High-End. Their prices range from $60 to $270, which determines their use in majority of today’s computer systems. For example, CPU-Z statistics claims that more than 50% of today’s computer systems feature dual-core CPUs and this situation will hardly change in favor of processor with more cores any time soon.
In order to single out all dual-core processors worth checking out today, we looked through official company price-lists and removed all not very attractive offers that are currently being sold out and discontinued as soon as possible. As a result, the list of currently available AMD and Intel dual-core solutions was reduced to the following:
Note that Core 2 Duo E6000 CPUs are no longer among the contemporary offerings. They have been evolutionary replaced with Core 2 Duo E8000 selling at the same prices.
As for the overall picture, Intel processors cover a much broader price range than AMD processors, as you may see. However, I have to say in AMD’s defense that in Q2 2008 their product lineup will be significantly enlarged with dual-core and triple-core CPUs with Phenom micro-architecture. In the meanwhile, AMD doesn’t even aim at the top of the mainstream CPU market targeting all their solutions at less expensive systems. Intel, however, still sticks to very pleasing fixed price level even after the launch of new processor models, despite the fact that there is practically no competition at this time in $180+ part of the CPU market.