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Intel takes chopper to chip prices

Up to 50 per cent off desktop parts

Security for virtualized datacentres

Intel has tweaked its processor price list, knocking up to 50 per cent off what it charges for desktop CPUs.

The headline reduction came to the 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad Q6700, which now costs $266, down from $530. The 2.4GHz Q6600 is also cheaper now: down 16 per cent to $224.

The other big reduction was applied to the 3GHz Core 2 Duo E6850, which had 31 per cent taken off its price, bringing it from $266 to $183.

Intel introduced the E7200 above the E6850 - an odd number since the E7200 has, on paper, a lower spec than the E6850. The latter sits on a 1333MHz frontside bus (FSB) and contains 4MB of L2 cache. The 7200, according to Intel's price list, has 3MB of cache, sits on a 1066MHz FSB and is only clocked to 2.53GHz. It's cheaper too: $133.

So much for model number consistency...

Also new this week is the 2.83GHz E8300, a 6MB L2, 1333MHz FSB part that debuted at $163.

Intel cut the price of the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo E4600 - 2MB L2, 800MHz FSB - to $113, a fall of 15 per cent.

Two members of the Pentium Dual-Core line-up had their prices cut: the 2.2GHz E2200 fell 12 per cent to $74, to create a price gap between it and the $84, 2.4GHz E2220. The price of the 2GHz E2180 was reduced 14 per cent to $64, bringing it in line with the remainder of the series.

The Celeron Dual-Core family gained a member: the 2GHz E1400, priced at $53. The introduction pushed down the price of its predecessor, the 1.6GHz E1200, down 19 per cent to $43.

The 2.66GHz single Celeron 570 joins the list with a price of $134. The 2.13GHz 560 and the 2GHz 550 both saw their prices cut by 20 per cent as a result, falling to $107 and $86, respectively.

The older 2GHz Celeron 440 and 1.8GHz Celeron 430 are now, respectively, 17 per cent and 23 per cent cheaper than before. The 440 now costs $44 and the 430 $34.

The 5xx Celerons have 1MB of L2 cache, while the 4xx versions, like the dual-cores, have 512KB of cache per core.

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