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Intel Corp. on Monday slashed prices of select quad-core and dual-core microprocessors for desktops and inexpensive servers. As a result of the price reduction, the company’s quad-core central processing units (CPUs) has hit the new low in terms of pricing, whereas entry-level dual-core Pentium chips now put even higher pressure on the low-end Celeron chips.

Starting from the 19th of October, 2008, Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33GHz, 4MB cache, 1333MHz processor system bus (PSB)) and Q6600 (2.40GHz, 8MB cache, 1066MHz PSB) cost $193 and $183, down 14% and 5%, respectively. It is interesting to note that the older-generation model Q6600 made using 65nm process technology should deliver higher performance compared to its successor in many tasks that do not take advantage of micro-architectural improvements of the Q8200 that is made using 45nm fabrication process.

With two quad-core processors available for below $200, end-users now face dilemma whether to buy dual-core chips with high clock-speed, or get quad-core processor with relatively low frequency. Several years ago customers already had to make a similar decision when choosing between single-core and dual-core offerings.

Since price-slashes on quad-core processors is not really significant, it will hardly affect Intel’s smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices.

Intel also reduced pricing of the Core 2 Duo E7300 (2.53GHz, 3MB cache, 1066MHz PSB) by 15% from $133 to 113%. Additionally, the company slashed the costs of the Pentium dual-core chips E2220 (2.40GHz, 1MB cache, 800MHz PSB) and E2200 (2.20GHz, 1MB cache, 800MHz PSB) to $74 and $64, respectively, down 12% and 14% from the previous levels.

Now that there are two dual-core Pentium processors that cost just $64, the lineup increases pressure on dual-core Celeron E1400 and E1200 processors that operate at 2.0GHz and 1.60GHz, respectively, and feature only 512KB of cache, thus providing considerably lower performance at $53 and $43 price-points.

Beside desktop processors, Intel also decreased prices of Intel Xeon X3220 and X3210 processors aimed at uni-processor servers by 5% to $188.

Tags: Intel, Core 2, 45nm, 65nm

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