iSuppli: Quad-core CPUs to be mainstream by 2009

Today, quad-core processors are only available from one company, cost at least $835, and don't seem to offer tangible performance benefits in many consumer desktop applications. However, according iSuppli, quad-core processors will be mainstream in just a couple of years. The research firm predicts that by the end of 2009, quad-core processors will be in nearly half all mainstream desktop computers. (iSuppli defines a mainstream system as a machine with common specs and functionality that's priced between $500 and $1,000.) iSuppli believes quad-core chips will be present in 94% of performance desktop PCs—computers with the "latest and greatest" components and price tags of $1,000 and up—by then, as well.

For reference, iSuppli says quad-core chips were in only 16% of performance desktops in the first quarter of this year, although it does expect that number to rise to 33% by the fourth quarter of 2007. As for mainstream PCs, iSuppli doesn't expect those systems to even begin offering quad-core chips until the third quarter of this year, and the firm adds that only 7% of them will do so by the end of the year.

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