Intel drops price Nehalem Extreme by $500

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Pretty interesting ... Intel will go back to the old days of pricing its flagship chips at $999 apiece when ordered in bulk, thousand-piece quantities, says a Friday report that cites mainboard manufacturers as its sources. The move is believed to have been made in order to speed up the adoption of quad-core CPUs, and pertains specifically to the chipmaker's upcoming 3.2GHz Extreme-series desktop Nehalem processors nicknamed Bloomfield.

The current top-of-the-range offering from Intel, the 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9770, is based on the earlier Penryn-era Yorkfield architecture with 12MB of Level 2 cache and is $500 more expensive in the same bulk quantities. The reports also have Intel's 2.93GHz version of the chip priced at $562, with a volume 2.66GHz version costing $284. All models will be based in X58 motherboards, which bring new dual and triple channel DDR3 support and can accomodoate either dual PCIe 2.0 X16 or Quad PCIe 2.0 X8.

Nehalem will be released in late 2008 for high-end chips and early 2009 for mainstream chips. The microarchitecture is being developed by Intel and is the planned successor to the Core microarchitecture. The processor is expected to debut the microarchitecture. Key features 1 through 8 (or more) cores, Integrated memory controllers supporting DDR3 SDRAM and between 1 and 4 memory channels.


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