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As expected, Intel Corp. on Monday said that it had begun shipments of quad-core microprocessors for desktop market with reduced power consumption. The move allows Intel to target new types of entertainment and multimedia systems in smaller form-factors while offering higher performance than usual.

“Intel has introduced new Intel Core 2 Quad processors with a 65W thermal design power specification, much lower than the 95W rating for previous similar Intel quad core processors. These new, power-efficient parts are designed for sleek and cool desktop PC designs. Intel is shipping three new processors to support a range of system options,” a statement by Intel reads.

The Core 2 Quad chips – models Q9550s, Q9400s and Q8200s – with reduced TDP operate in 2.33GHz – 2.83GHz clock-speed range and feature different cache sizes. Still, they all use 1333MHz processor system bus (PSB) and are compatible with existing LGA775 mainboards. The new central processing units are made using 45nm process technology.

The novelties are not inexpensive offerings for system designers and end-users affected by the global economic slump: computer makers will have to pay 16%, 20% or even 33% price premium for energy efficiency of the new chips compared to quad-core processors with similar specs, but with higher power consumption.

Three new low-power quad-core processors from Intel will compete against AMD’s energy efficient Phenom X4 chips for the place in low-power systems. But the competition will not be direct: AMD Phenom X4 models 9350e (2.0GHz) and 9150e (1.80GHz) are sold for $174, and offer much lower performance compared to Intel Core 2 Quad at 2.33GHz and beyond. Even the Phenom X4 9450e (2.10GHz) will hardly match even the lowest-performing Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200s.

Tags: , Intel, Core, 45nm, AMD, Phenom

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