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Intel preps low-cost two-, four-core challenge to AMD's Phenom X3

New entry-level CPUs near release

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Intel will release new entry-level Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processor series next quarter, it has been claimed.

The Core 2 Quad Q8000 line will be born in the form of the 2.33GHz Q8200, which will contain 4MB of L2 cache - 2MB shared by each pair of cores - and sit on a 1333MHz frontside bus (FSB). A number of Asian websites say it'll be priced at $203, just above what AMD is currently charging for 2.2GHz Phenom X4s and 2.4GHz Phenom X3s.

The Q8200 will be fabbed at 45nm and replace the current 65nm Q6000 line. Doing the same thing to the 65nm Core 2 Duo E2000 series will be the 45nm Core 2 Duo E5000 range, priced less and packing in more L2 cache - 2MB, it's said - than the E2000s do.

The E5000 CPUs will operate on an 800MHz FSB and start with a 2.5GHz model. It'll be priced at $84 - like the price of the Q8200, that's the per-chip cost when ordered in batches of 1000 CPUs.

Intel's entry-level chips come in addition to the faster Core 2 Quads and Duos also expected to debut in Q3.

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