updated 10:05 am EST, Mon January 19, 2009
Intel Low Power C2Q
Intel has quietly made sweeping changes to its desktop processor line that lead off with its first high-efficiency quad-core chips. The 2.83GHz Core 2 Quad Q9550s, 2.66GHz Q9400s and 2.33GHz Q8200s all use just 65W of power versus the 95W of their predecessors at the same speed. Dropping the energy output is not only eco-friendly but also more space-efficient, letting system designers fit full-speed desktop chips into smaller enclosures.
Reducing power use lifts the prices of the new Core 2 Quads versus their regular counterparts and puts a 2.83GHz chip with 12MB of Level 2 cache at $369 each in batches of 1,000 destined for PC sellers. The 2.66GHz component's lower clock speed and reduced 6MB of cache drop it to $320 with the same volume discount, while the 2.33GHz starter model uses just 4MB of cache but costs $245 as a result.
HP is already using the two faster CPUs in its Firebird 800 gaming desktops but isn't believed to be the only customer. Apple in particular is still rumored to be developing a quad-core iMac based on the technology that, at least initially, has been rumored for a January launch.
Besides these new processors, Intel has also seen fit to drop the prices on its regular Core 2 and Xeon lines with minor changes to each. The 95W 2.33GHz, 2.5GHz, 2.66GHz, 2.83GHz and 3GHz Core 2 Quads all drop at least 16 percent to $163, $183, $213, $266 and $316 respectively in large batches. Core 2 Duos include a 2.8GHz version dropped to $113 as well as a new 2.93GHz part at $133; Pentium dual-cores gain a new 2.8GHz model at $84 and are joined by price-reduced models between $64 and $84. Server-oriented Xeon X3000 chips drop to as little as $224 for a 2.66GHz quad-core part to $316 for a 3GHz version. [via DailyTech]