Cheapest Nehalem desktop chip to cost only $284?

A processor roadmap showing how Intel will position next-gen Nehalem CPUs leaked out a month ago, revealing that three Nehalem flavors would launch in the fourth quarter. The roadmap showed a mid-range model, and it hinted that the lineup wouldn't change until the second quarter of 2009.  But it listed no prices.

Luckily, the people at HKEPC have filled in that piece of the puzzle by scavenging price numbers from sources at Taiwanese motherboard makers. They say the cheapest desktop Nehalem variant will run at 2.66GHz and cost only $284—about the same as the Core 2 Quad Q9300 today. A pricier Nehalem model will have a 2.93GHz clock speed and $562 launch price, while the top-of-the-line model will run at 3.2GHz and cost $999.

Reportedly, all three chips will have four cores (and eight threads, thanks to a revived Hyper-Threading implementation), 8MB of L3 cache, and DDR3 memory support. According to prior rumors, the $999 chip will take DDR3-1333 memory, while the memory controllers built into the other two chips will only support DDR3-1066. As we stated last month, high DDR3 memory prices could offset the low price of the 2.66GHz part.

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