Sandy Bridge price cuts to set the stage for Ivy Bridge

— 6:00 AM on December 23, 2011

Prices for Intel's Sandy Bridge processors have hardly budged since the chips launched in January. Now, at long last, some price cuts could be underway. DigiTimes quotes "sources from notebook players" as saying Intel has told partners to expect 10-15% cuts across its Sandy Bridge-based Core i3 and Core i5 processors.

DigiTimes doesn't say exactly which models will be affected or when, but it suggests the cuts will bring down the price of some ultrabooks in January. Word is that "first-generation Core i5-based ultrabooks" will slip to $799-899 in that time frame. That tells us at least 17W Core i5 CPUs will be getting cheaper.

Not surprisingly, the report goes on to say Intel is cutting prices to "stimulate market demand" ahead of the Ivy Bridge launch. The first Ivy Bridge processors will reportedly be out in April 2012, and the rumor mill has hinted that they'll cost about as much as current-generation offerings do today.

It's just too bad CPUs like the Core i5-2500K haven't gotten a single price cut in almost a year now. I suppose AMD is partly to blame for that; had the underdog managed to produce a cheaper competitor, I'm sure Intel would have behaved differently. Unfortunately, AMD decided to charge a premium for the FX-8150, a processor that can't quite keep up with the i5-2500K overall.

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