Intel will retire its most affordable quad-core processor early next year—and the CPU might become even more affordable just before vanishing off the market altogether, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwanese news site says Intel will issue a discontinuation notice for the Core 2 Quad Q6600 next quarter. Industry insiders reportedly expect "several" PC vendors and distributors to cut prices in a bid to clear inventory before the year's end.
Right now, Intel's price list has the Core 2 Quad Q6600 at $183 in 1,000-unit quantities, although our price search engine shows some e-tailers selling the CPU for as little as $175.99. That's not bad for a 2.4GHz processor with four 65nm cores, especially considering this one launched at around $850 almost two years ago.
Of course, Intel isn't discontinuing this CPU for no reason. Newegg currently sells the 45nm Core 2 Quad Q8200 for only $179.99 shipped, and this 2.33GHz offering has more power-efficient 45nm cores, better clock-for-clock performance, and a speedier front-side bus than the Q6600.