Intel desktop quad chips arrive in tight supply

Intel mainstream quad-core desktop chips have been a long time in coming though supply is still tight.

Brooke Crothers
Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
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.

Intel's Q series of mainstream 45-nanometer desktop quad-core processors are finally starting to trickle out. These chips were announced back in the beginning of January amid reports of delays.

The Q9550, Q9450, and Q9300 Core 2 Quad processors are now available in systems from PC suppliers such as Alienware and Velocity Micro. Retail availability is still limited, however. Resellers such as Buy.com and Computers4sure list the Q9550 and Q9450 as "sold out" or "out of stock."

Intel Core 2 Quad processor
Intel Core 2 Quad processor Intel Corp.

"We are really seeing high demand on these parts, and we are filling orders as fast as we can," an Intel spokesperson said Tuesday. The spokesperson added that "most" of the processors had just launched into the market this week.

The "Q" non-Extreme quad-core processors typically have clock speeds, front-side bus (FSB) speeds, and thermal envelopes that are lower than Extreme processors which have the "QX" prefix before the processor model number.

The QX97700 (3.20 GHz, 12MB cache, 1600 MHz FSB), an Extreme quad-core desktop processor, has also recently become available, priced at $1,399.

The Q series of processors have the following specifications and prices:
Q9550: 2.83GHz, 12MB cache, 1333-MHz FSB: $530
Q9450: 2.66GHz, 12MB cache, 1333-MHz FSB: $316
Q9300: 2.50GHz, 06MB cache, 1333-MHz FSB: $266