Intel Corp. on Monday officially updated its price-list by including its recently released Intel Core 2 central processing units (CPUs) and also reduced the pricing on certain of its microprocessors. As a result of the dramatic reduction, a quad-core processor from the world’s largest chipmaker now costs just like its dual-core brethren in business quantities.
Intel’s quad-core desktop Core 2 Quad Q6600, Xeon 3220 and Xeon 3210 saw their prices plummeted by 47% - 50%, a rather unprecedented price slash in the recent history. Other price reductions were not as dramatic: from 4% to 15%.
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 and Xeon 3220 chips run at 2.40GHz, come with 8MB L2 cache and uses 1066MHz processor system bus (PSB). The processors are sold by Intel Corp. at $266 in 1000-unit quantities, whereas Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 (3.00GHz, 8MB, 1333MHz PSB) and E6600 (2.40GHz, 8MB cache, 1066MHz PSB) dual-core processors are sold for $266 and $244. Intel Xeon 3210 (2.13GHz) chip for single-processor configurations is available at $224, while Intel Core 2 Duo E6400/6420 at 2.13GHz cost $183. It should be noted Intel Xeon chips require motherboards that recognize those chips.
While the Core 2 Duo E6850 operates at higher clock-speed and will be slightly faster in applications that take advantage of two cores (or rely on one core only), the Core 2 Quad Q6600 is likely to be more efficient in future applications that heavily rely on execution of several threads simultaneously.
In fact, the price-point and similarity of specifications are likely to catalyze more computer makers and end-users to choose the CPU with four cores instead of a chip with two cores, which will further encourage software makers to tweak their software for multi-core processors. At least, this seems to be a reason why Intel decided to slash the price of its quad-core products by as much as 50%.