New Pricing

As you will soon see, Intel's new Core 2 lineup has basically made all previous Intel processors worthless. The performance of the new Core 2 CPUs is so much greater, with much lower power consumption, that owners of NetBurst based processors may want to dust off the old drill bits and make some neat looking keychains.

Intel also realizes that its new Core 2 line will make its older Pentium D and Pentium Extreme Edition processors seem a bit homely, and thus it will significantly reduce the pricing on some of the CPUs by the end of this month to help spruce them up a bit.

Intel's new pricing, effective starting July 23rd, is listed below:

CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB $999
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 4MB $316
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 2MB $183
Intel Pentium D 945 3.40GHz 2MBx2 $163
Intel Pentium D 915 2.80GHz 2MBx2 $133
Intel Pentium D 820 2.80GHz 1MBx2 $113
Intel Pentium D 805 2.66GHz 1MBx2 $93

The table above only showcases the NetBurst CPUs that are actually cheaper than their Core 2 counterparts; there are a number that are priced equal to Core 2 options, but you'll want to stay away from those (more blatant foreshadowing).

Unfortunately AMD won't have an architectural update of the Athlon 64 X2 until sometime in 2007 or 2008, thus its only response to Intel's Core 2 lineup today is to also reduce pricing. Shortly before today's launch AMD informed us that more aggressive price cuts for the Athlon 64 X2 line were coming in July, but we couldn't get any more specific information. The best numbers we've got are those that were leaked shortly after Computex, which may end up being higher than what AMD is now thinking of doing:

CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Projected Price
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz 512KBx2 $403
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz 512KBx2 $301
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz 512KBx2 $240
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 512KBx2 $169

In order to keep prices competitive, AMD is also killing off its Athlon 64 X2s with a 1MB L2 cache. By only shipping 512KB parts (except for the limited quantities of FX processors that are sold), AMD can produce more CPUs per wafer and thus help increase supply and offer lower prices.

Below we've compared both AMD and Intel's proposed price cuts, and as you can see, AMD needs to do a lot more in order to remain competitive.

CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB $999
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB $530
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz 512KBx2 $403*
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 4MB $316
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4GHz 512KBx2 $301*
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ 2.2GHz 512KBx2 $240*
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 2MB $183
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 512KBx2 $169*
Intel Pentium D 945 3.40GHz 2MBx2 $163
Intel Pentium D 915 2.80GHz 2MBx2 $133
Intel Pentium D 820 2.80GHz 1MBx2 $113
Intel Pentium D 805 2.66GHz 1MBx2 $93

*Note: The AMD prices are still rumored. We're waiting for final confirmation from AMD for accuracy.


Based on these prices, AMD's Athlon 64 X2 4600+ would have to beat Intel's E6600, the 4200+ would have to beat the E6400 and the X2 3800+ would have to be somewhere in between the performance of a Pentium D 940/945 and an E6300.

We're getting the impression that AMD may be cutting prices more than what we've seen here, but we have no idea to what degree yet. By the end of this year AMD will also offer higher clock speeds as well as its new 4x4 platform (dual socket, dual core desktop Athlon 64 FX motherboards), but that's all we can expect for the foreseeable future.

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  • Calin - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    A very good part of what Intel makes (processor wise) goes to mainstream and lower-than-mainstream performance (Celeron-like chips). There might be, in the end (of the year), enough production of Core2 to fill the enthusiast/retail market.
    Indeed, the Netburst are obsolete over night...
    Reply
  • xFlankerx - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Not just Netburst, even the Athlon 64s are obsolete now.

    With the Pentium 4 vs. Athlon 64 debate, atleast there were moments when going with the Pentium 4 could be justified. However, because of the huge difference in performance and prices of the Core 2 Duo and Athlon 64 processors, I think it would be foolish to go for a new Athlon 64 system right now (unless ofcourse you're on a tight budget).
    Reply
  • Calin - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Yes, Pentium4 was better in so-called media benchmarks, and there were some uber-optimized application that were flying on Pentium4.
    Right now, there are (as stated in article) three competitors: Core2Duo at high price, performance and low power, Athlon64 X2 at lower price, performance and a bit higher power, and PentiumD at dumping prices, even lower performance and quite a bit higher power. It all depends on how much money you would invest.
    I am thinking at a single core Core2, and integrated video mainboard with ATI or NVidia chipset - or a Sempron AM2 3000+. I wonder how cheap a Core2 Solo would be
    Reply
  • Squidward - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Agreed, an excellent review, I loved Anand's anologies about the dinner table. I get the feeling he may have been thinking Arby's (tm) when he wrote this review. :)

    My goodness does Intel's new lineup impress. I've been using AMD ever since the K6/2 days and was planning on getting an X2 soon, but this review has made me decide to wait it out just a little bit longer.

    Great article guys, keep up the good work.
    Reply
  • Viditor - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    quote:

    Not just Netburst, even the Athlon 64s are obsolete now

    I'd say that the A64 X2s are still quite competitive, depending on your budget and availability of the C2Ds.
    That said, Intel has done a magnificent job with these chips!
    It looks like Conroe will own the high end market until AMD can release K8L...but judging by the review, AMD will own the low end. I can't see anyone buying a PD once AMD drops the prices, nor can I see anyone buying an AMD if they can afford a medium or higher priced system.
    Reply
  • jkostans - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    With the 1.83GHz conroe at $183 and on par with a X2 4600, I don't see the low end going for AMD either.Ultra low end will be a toss up however. Reply
  • Viditor - Saturday, July 15, 2006 - link

    quote:

    With the 1.83GHz conroe at $183 and on par with a X2 4600, I don't see the low end going for AMD either

    If you look at the situation in total, it will probably make more sense...
    1. The X2 has far more inexpensive but fully functional motherboards to choose from.
    2. Supply will be far more constrained on the Conroe than on the X2

    Combos are king in the low end...for example, if you combine an Asus M2NPV-VM with an AM2 X2 3800 (after the price drop), you get a good dual core system with Raid 5, HDTV, nVidia 6150 graphics, Firewire, dual screen (VGA and DVI), and just about every whistle and bell you could want for (est) ~$250. You'd be hard pressed to find just a Conroe-ready motherboard with that kind of functionality for that kind of money (let alone a combo).
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    correct the real performance king will be for now the conroe starting from 6600 and above. maybe 6400 this will be clear later. but for the budget platform it will be better to buy an x2 3800 or 4200 seeing the price combo it will have. mobo + proc is way cheaper then any intel combo (100$ and more) thats a lot for a budget system.

    Reply
  • duploxxx - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    oh and one big item which is left out of sighht... the performance gain is less on a conroe then on a k8.. its a difference of 15% in identical apps... that's an interesting point for the future... just my opinion Reply
  • Xenoid - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Yes it was a very, very well done review and I will definitely be purchasing one of these bad boys. Reply

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