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Intel Drops Prices on Core 2 Quads, Introduces Low-Power Variants

Posted on January 20, 2009 4:36 AM by Rob Williams
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Price cuts on popular Intel processors have been rumored for a while, but it was all made official on Sunday, with the updated prices being reflected in their processor pricing list. The five current Core 2 Quad models have been affected, with three new low-power versions being quietly introduced. You’ll be able to spot one of these models by the ‘s’ added to the end of their name.

The biggest drop was seen on the 3.0GHz Q9650, which went from $530 to $316. The Q9550 is right behind that model, now sitting at $266. Moving downwards toward models that feature less cache, the Q9400 now sits at $213, while the Q8200 saw a small drop to $163. The Q9300, for whatever reason, didn’t see a price drop at all, and now sits above the faster Q9400 where pricing is concerned.

Model Clock Cache TDP $/1,000
Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.00GHz 12MB 95W $316
Core 2 Quad Q9550s 2.83GHz 12MB 65W $369
Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 12MB 95W $266
Core 2 Quad Q9400s 2.66GHz 6MB 65W $320
Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB 95W $213
Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.50GHz 6MB 95W $266
Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.50GHz 4MB 95W $183
Core 2 Quad Q8200s 2.33GHz 4MB 65W $245
Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz 4MB 95W $163

The three new lower-power models include the 2.83GHz Q9550s, the 2.66GHz Q9400s and also the 2.33GHz Q8200. Each of these include a reduced TDP of 65W (from 95W), and carry a noticeable price premium. The Q9550s, for example, costs $103 more than the non-s version, while the Q8200s costs $82 more than the original.

Those are not small differences, so these models will appeal to a very specific crowd. The power-savings will be nice, but I’m not sure how that will negate the much-higher cost-of-entry for some people. One potential benefit is better overclocking-ability, and of course, lower temperatures. These two factors are something we’ll be taking a look at in the coming week or two, so stay tuned.

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