Desktop CPU breakdown

Conroe begins strong market penetration in Q4'06
Dual-core processors and Conroe will take up the performance and mainstream desktop market for 2006

With increasing production investments on a global scale, Intel promised that 2006 would be the year of many changes. From what has happened so far, we can say that Intel is sticking well to its plans. Starting off with announcements that Intel will open new manufacturing facilities in Israel, India and Vietnam, the focus on driving strong production of 65nm products is well under way. According to Intel, dual-core will be its focus for all of this year, releasing products for both desktops and mobile platforms.

Intel's Conroe processor is receiving the most amount of press, is on high expectations with mainstream consumers and enthusiasts alike. Packing two cores, a next-generation architecture, and large amounts of cache, the Conroe family also comes in at significantly less than a Pentium EE. Conroe itself will be using LGA775 and so will the rest of Intel's desktop processors for the remainder of 2006.  Expect the official Conroe platform announcement to come at IDF 2006 on March 7, 2006.

Most of Intel's single-core processors have already been announced and released, except for two Pentium parts running at 3.33GHz and 3.GHz, which are both slated for a release on May 28 of this year. Both processors will be sporting larger 512KB L2 caches and cost $117 and $103 respectively.

Intel Desktop Processor Roadmap
Processor Brand Processor No.
Clock Speed/FSB Cache Launch Date Price @ Launch
PPXE 965
3.73GHz / 1066MHz 2x2MB Q2'06 $999 (04/30)
PPXE 955
3.46GHz / 1066MHz 2z2MB Now $999 (now)
PPXE 840
3.20GHz / 1066MHz 2x1MB Now $999 (now)
Conroe E6700
2.67GHz / 1066MHz 4MB Q3'06 $530 (???)
Conroe E6600
2.40GHz / 1066MHz 4MB Q3'06 $316 (???)
Conroe E6400
2.13GHz / 1066MHz 2MB Q3'06 $241 (???)
Conroe E6300
1.86GHz / 1066MHz 2MB Q3'06 $209 (???)
Pentium D
3.6GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Q2'06 $530 (04/30)
Pentium D 950
3.4GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $637 (now)
Pentium D 940
3.2GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $423 (now)
Pentium D
3.0GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now
$316 (now)
Pentium D 920 (no VT)

3.0GHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Now $178 (???)
Pentium D 920
2.8MHz / 800MHz 2x2MB Q3'06 $241 (now)

Conroe comes in later in the second half of this year, becoming the flagship family for Intel performance desktop processors. Official names for the new processors have not yet been revealed but technical details are there. Extreme Editions for Conroe are also planned but so far, no details have been released except for the fact that they will be based on LGA775. 2x2MB of L2 cache will be the base minimum for Pentium D 900 class processors and up except for Pentium Extreme Edition based on the Smithfield core, which has a 2x1MB L2 cache.

Intel is moving steadily through 2006, with a strong focus on dual-core processors. Now through to the end of 2006, we will see Conroe taking up roughly 20% of Intel's shipments by then end of the year while the Pentium D processor will remain the largest bulk of Intel's desktop shipments. By Q4 2006, the classic Pentium 4 will drop to roughly 30% of Intel's total desktop processor shipments.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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