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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  • finbarqs - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    just to show you how EASY it is to O/C the system! (and for the Futuremark junkies :-) )

    http://www.futuremark.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1...">http://www.futuremark.com/forum/showthread.php?p=1...

    You would want one :)

    if you want to know, 3DMark 2001SE posted a score of 45k, and 3DMark 2003 posted a 33k, FACTORY.
    Reply
  • phaxmohdem - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    I was wondering if you could possibly do some "single core" performance testing in the CPU's by simply changing the HAL to "ACPI Uniprocessor PC" instead of "multiprocessor PC" This would tel windows to only use one of the Core2 Duo cores, and I think would give us a good indication of how it will perform when released. Especially on the 2MB cache models, since I'm guessing the single cores won't bust out the door with a full 4MB.

    Just some food for thought/consideration. I personally would love to see a few tests run this way and compared to some single/dual core A64's.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Conroe-L is so far off that it's really an afterthought. The only reason it's not shipping is that Intel has a ton of Netburst stuff to offload, IMO. At $145, the PD 945 is still interesting in terms of certain computational tasks. (I miss the QMD Folding@Home cores....) Reply
  • fishbits - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    I had hoped AMD could gain even more market-share before something like this happened, would rather see the two CPU makers on more even footing. Intel just hit this one out of the park however, if pricing holds and availability is decent. Was looking at upgrading my 3500 (939) to a $300 X2 4600 after the price drop, but now? It looks like I'll probably keep this system and build a new rig around a $300 Intel 6600, which wins over or smokes the 4600 depending on benchmark. I really don't know what AMD can do to keep me in the short term, because I don't know if they can make any money dropping prices as far as it looks like they'll need to go. Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    One thing to consider though, if you decide to go with the C2D 6600, then you will also have to spend $$ on a new Mobo + Memory (since your DDR RAM won't work on the platforms for C2D. Keep that in mind when you're upgrading. Reply
  • fishbits - Saturday, July 15, 2006 - link

    When I said that if I went with Intel I'd keep my current rig and build a new one around the Conroe, didn't it dawn on you that I'd already "considered" the need to get a new mobo, memory, etc? Reply
  • SpaceRanger - Sunday, July 16, 2006 - link

    Holy arrogance.. EXCUSE ME for pointing something out.. Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    Well the loads of money they made when they had the better performing architecture can hopefully keep them doing very well also the Opteron isn't really being challenged and thats really their moneymaker right now. They shouldn't have any problems lowering prices on their desktop chips while keeping the status quo on the Opterons. Reply
  • zsdersw - Saturday, July 15, 2006 - link

    They can't really keep the status quo on the Opterons either. Woodcrest excels (or, at the very least, is equal to the Opteron) in the 1P and 2P server space.. which is a huge chunk of the overall server market. Reply
  • LoneWolf15 - Friday, July 14, 2006 - link

    While I'm sad to see AMD lose the performance crown, I'm not so obtuse as to deny it's happening.

    I'm excited by Intel's newest chip, but I think the results for me will be that I'll buy a faster Athlon 64 X2 when the prices drop (assuming Socket 939 ones become cheaper as well, I don't plan a move to Socket AM2 for some time to come). So Intel's newest chip should benefit even those of us sticking with an AMD system. :)
    Reply

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