Keep your eyes peeled for 45nm Core 2 Duo derivatives with bargain-bin price tags in a couple of months. The folks at DailyTech have posted information about Intel's plans outside the Core i7 line, and it looks like the chipmaker has aggressive aspirations for the sub-$100 market.
Right now, Intel's cheapest processor based on the 45nm Penryn architecture is the $83 Pentium E5200. Think of this chip as a Core 2 Duo with less cache and a slower front-side bus. According to DailyTech, Intel will cut that CPU's price to $64 on January 18, and it will simultaneously introduce a $74 Pentium E5300 clocked at 2.6GHz and an $84 Pentium E5400 clocked at 2.7GHz.
Considering the excellent clock-for-clock performance Penryn-based CPUs usually exhibit, these new Pentiums could handily outrun most of AMD's Athlon X2s (the fastest of which run just above 3GHz). Intel might also strike another blow at AMD's triple-core Phenoms with a 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo E7500, which DailyTech says will launch on January 18 at only $133.