Update on August 10 at 11:00 p.m. with official Intel pricing:
Existing Q9550 drops from $530 to $316. Pricing for new processors: Q9650 priced at $530, Q9400 at $266, E8600 at $266, and E7300 at $133.
The Xeon X3660 is reduced from $530 to $316.
Intel says it plans to roll out a bevy of midrange processors, all built on its new 45-nanometer manufacturing process, on Monday. Game computer vendors, among others, are expected to follow suit with new machines.
The Core 2 Quad Q9650 heads the list of updated chips, according to Intel. It has a core clock speed of 3GHz, a 12MB level-2 cache, a 1333MHz front-side bus, and is rated at 95 watts. Generally, the larger the level-2 cache memory, the better the performance. The front-side bus (FSB) carries data between the processor and other silicon.
Several retailers already have the new processors listed on their Web sites. TheNerds.net has the Q9650 listed at $576, one of the lowest prices on the Web. Retailers' prices are typically higher than Intel's official list prices, so the prices announced by Intel Monday will likely be lower than those retailers' offerings.
A bit further down the list is the Core 2 Quad Q9400 with a clock speed of 2.66GHz, 6MB of cache, and a 1333MHz FSB. This has a list price of $284 on TheNerds.net.
Core 2 Duo chips will also get a refresh. The E8600 has a clock speed of 3.33GHz, 6MB of cache, and a 1333MHz FSB. The E7300 runs at 2.66GHz with 3MB of cache, and has a 1066MHz FSB.