A month ago, Intel announced that it would be introducing a range of mobile Core 2 processors based on 45nm process technology this quarter. Today, we noticed that Dell has started offering 45nm Core 2 Duos as options in some of its XPS-series notebooks.
So far, only Dell's XPS M1330 13.3" ultraportable seems to be available with the new Core 2 Duo T8000 and T9000 chips. Inspiron notebooks are still only featured with 65nm chips, and oddly, so is the rest of the XPS lineup—even the XPS "Gaming Edition" models. Dell doesn't even offer 45nm chips by default in the M1330. Instead, users must select them on the system configuration page, which adds a premium to the laptop's price.
On the base $999 M1330, the 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo T8300 is a $275 upgrade over the default 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo T5450, while the 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo T9300 will cost folks an extra $400, and the 2.6GHz Core 2 Duo T9500 increases the notebook's price by a hefty $675. All four chips are based on the Penryn core and feature 800MHz front-side buses, 6MB of cache, and architectural improvements including SSE4 support. Clock-for-clock performance should be higher and power consumption lower than equivalent 65nm models.