The fact that Intel's new 45nm desktop processors are hard to come by is no secret. We reported about the issue almost a month ago, and back then Intel told us that the tight availability was an artifact of both considerable demand and low ramp volumes. Since then, retail-boxed 45nm Core 2 Duos have remained consistently out of stock with marked-up prices, and the only available 45nm Core 2s have been OEM parts that lack warranties and bundled coolers.
Today, however, we see that Newegg once again has retail-boxed Core 2 Duo E8400 processors in stock. What's more, the CPUs are available at just $209.99 with free shipping—only $27 more than Intel's 1,000-unit launch price, and well under the $250+ prices we've seen over the past month or so.
The Core 2 Duo E8400 is a dual-core 45nm processor that runs at 3GHz with 6MB of shared L2 cache and a 1333MHz front-side bus. Thanks to its high clock speed, the E8400 tends to be faster than pricier quad-core offerings in most tasks. Intel's new 45nm process also seems to give the E8400 oodles of overclocking headroom, and we've seen many reports of this chip hitting speeds in the 3.5GHz to 4GHz range with nothing more than the stock cooler. For $210 shipped, that's very impressive value.
Update: The chip is now out of stock at Newegg. However, it's currently in stock for $209 at Mwave.