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Intel to up 45nm Core 2 Extreme prices by 50% next year

Pricier Penryns coming down the 'pike

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Updated Upcoming 'Penryn'-based 45nm high-end quad-core CPUs may well attract an even higher price premium than before, it has emerged. Intel has apparently informed customers that next year's Core 2 Extreme processors will cost up to 50 per cent more than today's models.

According to newly released Penryn pricing data posted by a number of websites, November's Core 2 Extreme QX9650 will cost $999 when sold in batches of 1000 chips. That's the price point Intel has maintained for the Extreme line of gaming processors since the family was introduced back in the Pentium D days.

However, Q1 2008 will see the 3GHz, 12MB L2, 1333MHz FSB chip joined by two 3.2GHz models: the QX9770 and the QX9775, priced at a staggering $1399 and $1499, respectively. It's not clear at this stage how the QX9775 and the QX9770 differ in order to warrant the extra five digits on the model number and the extra $100 on the price.

Update Yes it is: the QX9775 supports a 1600MHz FSB and it sits on the server-oriented LGA771 interconnect rather than the more commonplace LGA775. In short, it's a rebranded Xeon.

The Core 2 Extreme pricing is in marked contrast to what Intel apparently plans to charge for 45m, Core 2 Quad mainstream desktop chips. As we've reported before, Q1 2008 will see the arrival of the Q9300, Q9450 and the Q9550, clocked at 2.5, 2.66 and 2.83GHz, respectively, and all operating on a 1333MHz FSB. The Q9300 contains 6MB of L2; the others 12MB.

The sites' pricing data points to 1000-chip per-processor prices of $266, $316 and $530, respectively - close to what Intel currently charges for top-of-the-line dual-core and quad-core CPUs.

So, no price reduction, but no massive increase for Penryn either.

Q1 2008 is also expected to see the introduction of the dual-core 45nm Core 2 Duo E8200, E8400 and E8500 at 2.66, 3 and 3.16GHz, respectively, and priced at $163, $183 and $266. All three run on a 1333MHz FSB and contain 6MB of L2 cache.

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