The Real Story is Pricing

Even though we are a tad spoiled by Intel (just a year ago we would have given anything to see such a high performing part come out of the maker), the real story here is in the pricing war that these two competitors have found themselves engaged in. Let's first take a look at Intel's pricing, including the new QX6800:

 CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 2.93GHz x 2 4MB x 2 $1199
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz x 2 4MB x 2 $999
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB $999
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz x 2 4MB x 2 $851
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 Core 2 Duo E4300 1.80GHz 2MB $163

As you can see, it hasn't changed much, the price points are the same with the addition of the QX6800 at the $1200 mark (as if Extreme Edition/FX pricing wasn't high enough). But now let's take a look at what AMD has done since we last looked at the desktop CPU market:

 CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.0GHz 1MBx2 $241
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5600+ 2.8GHz 1MBx2 $188
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ 2.6GHz 1MBx2 $178
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz 512KBx2 $167
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.5GHz 512KBx2 $136
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3GHz 512KBx2 $121
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 2.1GHz 512KBx2 $104
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0GHz 512KBx2 $83
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ 1.9GHz 512KBx2 $73

The fastest AMD processor you can buy will only set you back $241 today - and these are actual prices. A quick check on Newegg reveals that the X2 6000+ can actually be had for $239. In our review of the 6000+ we stated the following:

"With the latest round of price cuts AMD is far more competitive than at any other point since the release of Intel's Core 2 processors. Unfortunately for AMD, this means that at best, it can offer performance close to that of Intel's Core 2 processors at similar prices."

With another round of price cuts AMD can potentially change the balance structure even more, at $241 the 6000+ is really a competitor to the Core 2 Duo E6400, which it should have no trouble outperforming. The 5600+ ends up competing with the E6300 and the 5000+ is priced equivalently to the E4300. While Intel will still hold control of the world's fastest desktop processor title, AMD may actually offer better value at lower price points.

Intel surely won't allow its newly found fanbase to go challenged, and thus on April 22nd it will respond with its own set of price cuts resulting in the following table:

 CPU Clock Speed L2 Cache Price
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6800 2.93GHz x 2 4MB x 2 $1199
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 2.66GHz x 2 4MB x 2 $999
Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz 4MB $999
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz x 2 4MB x 2 $530
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz 4MB $316
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.40GHz 4MB $224
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 2.13GHz 2MB $183
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 1.86GHz 2MB $163
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.80GHz 2MB $113

The April 22nd price cuts aren't terribly aggressive, but they do restore a little balance to the equation . The 6000+ goes back to compete with the E6600 instead of the E6400, which does change things thanks to the E6600's larger L2 cache. The 5600+ now goes head to head with the E6400 instead of the E6300, and the 5000+ will have to contend with the E6300.

Unfortunately, the timing of today's launch requires us to look at the market in two ways: as if you were buying components for a system today, and if you were buying in a couple of weeks after Intel's price cuts take effect. The latter obviously being more important given its imminence.

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  • Sc4freak - Sunday, April 15, 2007 - link

    It's one of the few games out there that benefit greatly from multi-core. It would have been interesting to see how this new CPU benefitted one of the most CPU-bound games out there right now. Reply
  • SilverMirage - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    AT fails to be completely honest with the situation:

    1. AT conveniently publishes this on the exact day AMD's price cuts come into effect. That's interesting. Although AT mentions this, they could have mentioned that AMD's previous prices were not able to compete.

    2. Benchmarking the 5000+ against the e6300 is inherantly biased since it will be the e6320 which is contending with the 5000+

    "5000+ will have to contend with the E6300"

    3. Now this depends a lot on the mobo, but I'd say that the conclusion from these benchmarks is that the E6320 and E6420 will be better for their price in a week or two.

    he Athlon 64 X2 6000+ is a realistic alternative to the E6600/E6400, the 5600+ competes well with the E6400/E6300 and the 5000+ can hold its own against the E6300/E4300

    (AT fails to mention again that the E6300 is an unfair comparison)
    Reply
  • duploxxx - Monday, April 16, 2007 - link

    In the beginning of C2D launch we saw many reviews reducing the multiplier to see what 4mb of cache could do against 2MB of cache... it was only a few % depending on the type of apps... so stop the crap that a 6320 will outperform a 5000, same with the e6400 vs 5600. because for sure it will not!

    As for power consumption, yes a K8 consumes more power at load, It also consumes A LOT LESS in idle, how long is you're system idle a day? And buy a normal ATI chipset like the asus M2R32-MVP and the total power consumption at load will be less than the C2D system...

    any system can be oc'ed.... one bether than the other. you are talking about 5% of users maximum. the allendale tend to oc worse these days......

    nice review but start using the ATI chipsets also, they are equal performers against NVidia and cunsume a lot less and also cheap these days.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, April 11, 2007 - link

    It is funny, you come here saying the Anandtech crew is full of BS, yet you do not bring any proof with you, so excuse me if I call BS on you. Things do not magically work one way, instead of another, JUST BECAUSE *you* say so. Reply
  • DeepThought86 - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I don't understyand why only the CPU prices are considered?? Shouldn't the overall cost including a motherboard be a much more realistic measure? What about a performance/overall (CPU+MB) cost metric be very useful Reply
  • Griswold - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    I just skimmed over the article, but where are the numbers for power usage? Reply
  • RedWolf - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    One thing that is in AMD's favor is that Dell is now selling AMD machines. The college I work for is buying all AMD machines this year. Even the slowest C2D machines are a few hundred dollars more than AMD machines. All of our machines this year, including laptops, are Athlon X2 powered machines because the price was so attractive. I simply could not configure a C2D machine that came close. That price difference allowed us to go to 2 gb of ram and still be under C2D pricing for the same machine. Granted we aren't building enthusiast machines or buying for business but we are buying AMD and getting them at great prices. Reply
  • dm - Monday, April 9, 2007 - link

    quote:

    The April 22nd price cuts aren't terribly aggressive, but they do restore a little balance to the equation . The 6000+ goes back to compete with the E6600 instead of the E6400, which does change things thanks to the E6600's larger L2 cache. The 5600+ now goes head to head with the E6400 instead of the E6300, and the 5000+ will have to contend with the E6300.


    It is important to note that Intel is also coming up with a better Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6300 and Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6400, which are Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6320 and Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6420. Both have full 4MB L2 cache and will be a lot better performer. I have done quite a few tests with them here (and it includes Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E4400 as well):

    http://fanboyreview.blogspot.com/2007/03/brag-fanb...">http://fanboyreview.blogspot.com/2007/0...g-fanboy...

    quote:

    The price is obviously quite steep, and those who are not opposed to overclocking would be better off buying a Q6600 and simply overclocking it to QX6800 speeds.


    You missed a wonderful processor, which is the quad core Intel® Xeon® X3210 (2.13GHz/8MB L2/1066MHz) which is an LGA775-socket compatible CPU and would appear to be binned to worked at a lower voltage. And according to guru3D (http://www.guru3d.com/newsitem.php?id=4949)">http://www.guru3d.com/newsitem.php?id=4949) the price will be hovering the $430 range. I have done some testing with this Intel® Xeon® X3210 here:

    Part I (Stock Benchmark): http://fanboyreview.blogspot.com/2007/04/article-l...">http://fanboyreview.blogspot.com/2007/0...icle-lit...
    Part II (Overclocked up to 63%): http://fanboyreview.blogspot.com/2007/04/article-l...">http://fanboyreview.blogspot.com/2007/0...e-little...

    Anyway, overall, nice article!!!
    Reply
  • skrewler2 - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    Doing a google search, I see the price is around $750-800.. Too bad, you got me excited too Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - link

    DM I didn't see any head-to-head comparison of 6300 to 6320 and 6400 to 6420 in your review of them. Am I reading your graphs wrong? Reply

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