While a lot of consumers have chosen quad-core CPUs from both Intel and AMD, the majority of the market has still chosen to go with dual-core CPUs.
Many programs still don't take full advantage of multiple cores. Those that are, are only optimized for two logical processors.
Additionally, many gamers who don't overclock seek the fastest dual-core CPUs, as they will see faster frame rates if they are CPU limited. Generally, having more cores limits how fast you can clock your processors. If the game doesn't take advantage of quad-Core, then a dual-core solution makes more sense.
Adding more cores also increases the cost significantly. For most, the Core 2 Duo is a cost effective solution that provides high-performance, meeting the definition of value.
Intel first launched its P1266 45nm process back in 2007, although mass market availability took a few months. During the ramp-up, the production line is optimized to maximize yields and minimize the number of defects in final products.
During the Assembly and Test stage, Intel uses a process called binning, where CPUs are tested and sorted based on several criteria. This is how we get a series of CPUs that are essentially the same, but ranges from 2.66 GHz to 3.5 Ghz.
DailyTech has found information on Intel's latest CPU. It is the Core 2 Duo E8700 running at 3.5 GHz, making it their highest clocked Core 2 Duo to date. It has a Front Side Bus operating at 1333 MHz, 6 MB of cache, and a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of 65 W.
There is currently no price information available. However, it is likely that when it does officially launch, Intel will lower its prices on the rest of the Core 2 Duo line.
Launching a higher clocked product is a sign of strength in manufacturing, indicating line maturity and expertise. It is, unfortunately, something that Intel's competitors have been unable to match.