Every so often you have to clean out your closet and make room for new digs. That's exactly what Intel is doing. The Santa Clara chip maker issued Product Discontinuance notices for several processors, including two LGA 1156 processors, the Core i5 661 (3.33GHz) and Core i3 530 (2.93GHz). Intel's notice affects both boxed and OEM CPUs.
We get it - times are tough, and no matter how tempting it might be jump into a Core i5 / i7 setup, for some, practicality dictates holding on to the current platform and squirreling away any extra funds for a rainy day. Or you can use part of it to invest in Intel's upcoming dual-core E6600 processor and revel in the fact that you spent but a pittance for the fastest Pentium dual-core Wolfdale 45nm processor on the planet.
According to news and rumor site Fudzilla, Intel is still on track to release its 45nm E6600 on January 17, 2010, barely a month out of reach. And the best part? Barring any last minute curve balls from Intel, it should sit on retail shelves for a mere $84, which is what it costs today for an E6500. The E6500 is expected to drop down to $74.
That's not a bad bang for your buck if you're stuck using an LGA 775 platform. For not much more than a sit-down dinner and a movie for two, the E6600 brings to the table two processor cores clocked at 3.06GHz, the first wolfdale to breach the 3GHz mark, and push data through a 1066MHz frontside bus. It also boasts 2MB of L2 cache and a 65W TDP.
If you're building from scratch, chances are you've been eyeballing Intel's newly minted Core i7 platform (as you should be). But the decision isn't so cut and dry when your budget doesn't allow for a new motherboard and kit of triple channel RAM. For those of you sitting pretty on an LGA 775 platform and in need of a processor upgrade, Intel has announced a handful of price cuts affecting its Core 2 Quad, Core 2 Duo, Pentium Dual Core, Celeron, and Xeon chips, as well as announced several new lower wattage Core 2 Quads, which drop the TDP from 95W to 65W.
Among those with the new lower TDP rating are the Q9650 (3.0GHz, 12MB), Q9550 (2.83GHz, 12MB), and Q8200 (2.33GHz, 4MB). However, these new revisions won't come cheap, commanding an $82, $107, and $103 premium respectively over their 95W counterparts with newly lowered prices.
New processor models include the E7500 (2.93GHz, 3MB, 1066MH) and E5400 (2.80GHz, 2MB, 800MHz), priced at $133 and $84 respectively in thousand-unit trays.