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Intel promises significant price cuts across the board in preperation for dual-core ramp

Previously, DailyTech revealed a number of changes that will be taking place with Intel's family of desktop processors: Pentium 4 processors will drop down to roughly 30% of Intel's overall desktop processor shipments and Pentium D processors falling to 45% of desktop sales.

Core 2 Duo processors will be introduced on July 23 of this year and, according to Intel's estimates, and will be accompanied by the new 96x "Broadwater" chipset. According to Intel's updated roadmap, Core 2 processors will expand to roughly 35% of Intel's shipments in Q1'07. Conroe, as the desktop version of Core 2 Duo is dubbed, will be the first Intel processor with the new letter/number naming schedule, as noted below.

Intel's flagship, the Core 2 Extreme processor, is also expected to launch on July 23 with the X6800 name. 

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap for Dual Core

Clock Speed
Cache Launch
Price @
2.93GHz / 1066MHz 4MB 23-Jul $999
PPXE 955
3.46GHz / 1066MHz 2z2MB Now $999
PPXE 840
3.20GHz / 1066MHz 2x1MB Now $999
2.67GHz / 1066MHz 4MB 23-Jul $530
C2D E6600
2.40GHz / 1066MHz 4MB 23-Jul $316
C2D E6400
2.13GHz / 1066MHz 2MB 23-Jul $224
C2D E6300
1.86GHz / 1066MHz 2MB 23-Jul $183
3.6GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now
P4D 950
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $224 (23-Jul)
P4D 940
3.2GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $183 (23-Jul)
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now
$178 (4-Jun)
P4D 925 (no VT)

3.0GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Q4'06 $133
P4D 920
2.8MHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $178 (4-Jun)

Intel has dropped desktop processor prices throughout the year. Many of the Pentium D processors have seen anywhere from $30 cuts to more than 50% price cuts. All entry level Celeron 300-series desktop processors from Intel will  be priced well under $80 by the time Q4'06 comes around.

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap for Dual Core Without VT

Clock Speed
 Price @ Launch
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB N/A $163 (23-Jul)
PDP 925
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2z2MB N/A $133 (Q4'06)
PDP 915
2.8GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB N/A $133 (23-Jul)

Intel will also be launching VT-disabled Preslers laster on this year with the 945, 925 and 915 series. VT, or Virtualization Technology allows virtual operating systems running on VMs such as VMWare or Parallels Desktop to access processor ops directly. The mainstream Pentium 4 processors with 2MB and 1MB caches will also see significant price drops. For example, a Pentium 4 661 (LGA775) processors running at 3.6GHz with 2MB of L2 cache will be priced at $183 on the 23rd of July. Right now, the same processor sells for $401.

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap for Single Core

Clock Speed
Cache    Price
   Price on
3.6GHz / 800MHz 2MB $401 $183
P4P 651
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2MB $273 $163
P4P 641
3.2GHz / 800MHz 2MB $218 $163
P4P 631
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2MB $178 $163
P4P 541
3.2GHz / 800MHz 1MB $218 $84
P4P 531
3.0GHz / 800MHz 1MB $178 $74
P4P 524
3.06GHz / 533MHz 1MB $143 $69

All of Intel's single core processors see significant price drops across the board. According to Intel's roadmaps, dual core ramp will accelerate after July 23rd. Core 2 Duo will become Intel's flagship processor while Woodcrest takes the helm for enterprise and server level performance in 2007.

Intel's roadmap also confirms the existence of Kentsfield, the first quad core desktop component for Intel.  Kentsfield will launch as an "Extreme" processor in Q1'07, but Intel isn't saying the official name yet.  AMD is expected to introduce quad-core processors in 2007 as well. Called the K8L, AMD is expected to introduce new HyperTransport protocols as well as support for third party co-processors.

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RE: 940 vs E6300
By slashbinslashbash on 5/28/2006 3:46:56 AM , Rating: 2
All of the problems you bring up (except for Rambus) were covered in my intial reply. It all has to do with yields. Again, if yields aren't there then they will simply be selling lower clocked processors at launch. And, to make a circular statement, we would expect these lower clocked processors to perform as expected (i.e. in a clock-for-clock proportional manner with the pre-production samples).

The only thing that is really going to change performance per clock is a significant change in architecture. The best way to change clock speed is through process updates -- process shrinks, doping, low-k, whatever. In other words, clock speed is related (inversely) to yield. Of course, performance per clock * clock speed = performance.

I am not debating that Intel may very well be doing something to increase clock speed on these pre-production samples. These samples may very well be fabbed on very low-yield processes that are cost prohibitive for mass production. However, barring significant changes to the architecture, the clock per clock performance will not change between pre-production samples and production units.

Anand previewed a Conroe at 2.66GHz. We now know that Intel is planning to release the 2.66GHz Conroe on July 23 at a price of $530. Maybe they won't be able to! Maybe they'll fail! Maybe at launch, yields will still not be high enough and they will only be able to come out with (say) 2.2GHz Conroe CPUs. IMO this is not a problem as far as Intel's credibility is concerned unless the 2.2GHz CPUs perform disproportionally slower than their clock speed would suggest, based on the samples that we've seen benchmarked so far. And there is no way for that to happen without significant changes to the architecture between the production units and the samples.

Lastly, your Rambus thing is a red herring. If there were some sort of flaw like in the Rambus motherboards, then that would not affect "performance" per se. That kind of problem affects basic functioning and would be covered by Intel in a recall, like they did with the Rambus boards and like they did with the original Pentiums before that. That's the kind of problem where most people would see the performance that we're expecting based on pre-production samples, but a small percentage would see big problems or even outright failures. That kind of flaw is obviously a very different situation than 100% of production CPU's performing slower than pre-production CPU's in some set of benchmarks. Of course, the pre-production CPU's haven't even been subjected to third-party reviewers for long-term stability etc. yet, so really that's an unrelated discussion anyway. We're talking about "how will the production CPU's benchmark compared to the sample CPU's that we've already seen benchmarked", not "will there be some flaw in the production CPU's that requires a recall."

RE: 940 vs E6300
By Viditor on 5/28/2006 4:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
Some very good points...I would agree that pure performance as a function of clockspeed for the CPU would remain a constant of the architecture.
However, what about the motherboard performance?
And more importantly, what about leakage? It's usually not a function of architecture and could also be vastly different in volume production...

Finally, I guess what I was trying to say (not very well) is that often it takes an architectual change to correct for a manufacturing difficulty (e.g. Prescott)...
If that does happen (doubtful but possible), then the old benchmarks get thrown out and new ones must be created.

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