Report: Low-cost Intel quad-core and Nehalem chips coming

Intel reportedly is readying a low-cost quad-core processor to compete with AMD's triple-core chip. Specifications on Intel's upcoming Nehalem chip are leaking out too.

Intel is expected to bring out low-cost quad-core processors in the third quarter to compete with AMD's triple-core Phenom chip. One site is also posting specifications for upcoming Nehalem processors.

The Core 2 Quad Q8000 series will include the Q8200, which will be priced as low as $203, according to Chinese-language technology Web site HKEPC.

Tech Web site The Inquirer also cited an Intel slide with the processor.

The 45-nanometer Q8000 series will be relatively low performance and stripped down, running at a clock speed of only 2.33GHz and integrating only 4MB of cache memory.

The currently shipping Intel quad-core processor that comes closest to this is the popular Q6600, which runs at 2.4GHz and packs 8MB of cache memory. This is priced at $224. Typically, the more cache memory integrated into a processor, the better the performance.

An Intel Q8000 quad-core chip priced at $203 would still be more expensive, however, than an AMD triple-core Phenom. A triple-core Phenom processor 8750 (2.4GHz) is listed on AMD's processor pricing page at $195. The Phenom 8650 (2.3GHz) is listed at $165 and the Phenom 8450 (2.1GHz) at $145.

The price difference between a system using a Phenom and one based on a Core 2 Quad is typically even more stark at first-tier vendors like Hewlett-Packard, where it can be as much as $300. Presumably, a system with a Q8000 quad-core processor would fall below the Q6600-based system in price.

HKEPC is also posting specifications on Intel's upcoming Nehalem processor, which is based on a new architecture featuring a high-speed data transfer technology called QuickPath (PDF).

At least three Nehalem "Bloomfield" quad-core processors are slated for the fourth quarter, with speeds ranging between 2.66GHz and3.2GHz, targeted at the mainstream and high end of the market. The processors will also use a new "X58" chipset, according to the report.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)
Lenovo reprises clever design for the Yoga Tablet 2 (Pictures)
Top-rated reviews of the week (pictures)