Core 2 Quad price cuts coming next Monday?

Yesterday, we heard that Intel could cut prices shortly after announcing its latest financial results this week. Well, according to an anonymous tipster who’s been right on at least one occasion, price cuts are indeed coming—they’ll hit on Monday, January 19, and they’ll affect Intel’s line of Core 2 Quad processors.

Here are the affected chips with their specifications, current volume prices from Intel’s price list, and purported post-cut prices:

Processor Speed L2 cache FSB Price today Price 1/19?
Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.00GHz 12MB 1333MHz $530 ~$322
Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 12MB 1333MHz $316 ~$267
Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66GHz 6MB 1333MHz $266 ~$217
Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.50GHz 4MB 1333MHz $224 ~$194
Core 2 Quad Q8200 2.33GHz 4MB 1333MHz $193 ~$163

The cuts will also hit equivalent Xeon X3300-series processors, our source claims. If this information is accurate, AMD will in all likelihood have to follow suit by slashing Phenom II prices. The Phenom II 920 and 940 Black Edition are currently priced slightly higher than their respective Intel rivals, the Core 2 Quad Q8300 and Q9400. AMD would have to drag both of its CPUs down around the $200 mark to stay competitive.

Comments closed
    • Arctucas
    • 11 years ago

    What about dual-core and Xeon pricing?

    • Tarx
    • 11 years ago

    This is the standard clockwork like January price drop from Intel almost completely predetermined many months ago – and way before the launch of AMD’s PII.
    Without looking at the Intel pricing sheet, the next price major drop will most likely be around mid-April, then again mid-July (like in the past few years) and it is pretty easy to guess what most of the prices will be too.
    It has been like this for years with only small modifications here and there. Part of the reason why suppliers like to deal with Intel.
    And I think we can even make a pretty good guess what the Lynnfield prices will be like.
    The question I have is will Intel drop the i920 price or will it remove that cpu from the lineup and drop the i940 (or perhaps a i930) to the i920 price? (I expect this would be a July move if the Lynnfield arrives by then).

    • shank15217
    • 11 years ago

    It hurts the i7 business as much as it hurts AMD. Before there was maybe a good reason to grab the core i7 920 but now the Q9650 is a very close competitor and with vastly cheaper platform.

      • Prospero424
      • 11 years ago

      No doubt. I’m sure people like Dell and HP get a bit better deals on the X58s than you or I would, but if Intel wants the i7s to start selling in retail, they NEED to move up the mainstream LGA-1366 chipset (I forget what they’re calling it, Lynnfield?) release.

      Are they really planning on offering only the X58 (which will almost certainly never be reasonably priced) until winter ’09?! That seems really silly to me.

      How many people want to run out and spend at least $300 on a processor, $300 on a motherboard, and around $300 on RAM in this economic climate? You don’t even have a case or video card yet and you’re already at $1000!

      I’m willing to bet we’ll see Intel revise their roadmap in the next couple of months to reflect this reality.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Why? The current i7 is just the shakedown cruise for Gainestown. It’s the same socket and the same die — it even has two QPI links although only one is hooked up. Once they’ve got the kinks worked out and the fabs are running at good yields, almost all the production will go into servers. The early adopters have just been nice enough to pay Intel for the privilege of doing the last round of beta testing on their production samples. Some of those “workstation” sales will continue, but for Intel the 2P server chips are the real focus until the third or fourth quarter.

        Meanwhile, Penryn holds down the fort just fine. It’s cheaper for Intel to make and for the OEMs to sell, especially as the memory mfrs get switched over to DDR3, and it’s competing well against anything AMD can throw at it. I’m sure if AMD had pulled a real rabbit out of its hat with the Phenom II, Intel would’ve considered pulling in the schedule for Lynnfield and Havendale. But as it stands there’s no need, and meanwhile Intel can focus its Nehalem guns on the more lucrative small server market where it’s a better match anyway.

        Intel obviously wasn’t expecting the current economic climate, but they’re actually well-positioned for it. They don’t have to cut prices on their very latest product because it’s not aimed at consumers. Corporate demand for servers is weak too, of course, but it likely will pick up first — especially if server consolidation, replacing Core 2 Xeons with i7 Xeons, offers compelling cost savings. So on the consumer side they can try to spur demand by cutting prices on the last-gen products without endangering ASPs in the long run; when that demand does finally come back they’ll be ready with the i5 LGA-1156 chips, which will be cheaper for Intel to produce and have a much lower total cost to the customer — especially if Gainestown sales have helped bring DDR3 prices down. Intel should have their MP line (Beckton) ready by then too, so they’ll be right back to the profit margins they expect.

        But short of some kind of real threat from AMD, Intel can just sit tight with Penryn.

          • Prospero424
          • 11 years ago

          I agree with most of what you say. I just thought Intel would want to standardize their production to one platform as /[

    • Prospero424
    • 11 years ago

    Of course this news would come out RIGHT after I bought my Q9300!

    Still, I doubt I would do any better even a few months from now. I found the 9300 on sale for $179 three weeks ago at MicroCenter, and I didn’t hesitate. It looks like the 9400 will still be more expensive after the price cut, not to mention the Q9550.

    Besides, I’ve got it running at 3.33Ghz right now on stock voltage and air cooling (with plenty of headroom to spare). I think that’s fast enough for now 😉

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      I need a better Motherboard.
      Good thing Q9300/975x works.
      Features for the win.

    • Prospero424
    • 11 years ago

    Edit: server error caused a dupe

    • HurgyMcGurgyGurg
    • 11 years ago

    I’ll probably end up waiting another few months for the final price cuts and right before they discontinue the Q 9550, I’ll buy one to re-place my C2D e8400, hell, maybe even a q 9650 after its discontinued.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 11 years ago

      I was thinking the exact same thing. After the prices hit rock bottom and/if quads start really affecting gaming, I’m going to replace my E8400 with a Q9650. It’s a pity Intel won’t release a Q9750, but I don’t seriously think I would need th e10x multiplier. I only run my E8400 at 3.6GHz (400×9) as it is, I would only push the Q9650 that far.

    • thebluebumblebee
    • 11 years ago

    Today, Newegg has $15 promo savings on the PII processors, maybe giving even more credence to this story.

      • FireGryphon
      • 11 years ago

      l[

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, this has been bugging me for a while: the PII moniker has already been taken, and it’s too soon to be recycling it (particularly for a competitor’s offering). Can we call them PhII or something?

          • TurtlePerson2
          • 11 years ago

          I don’t mind if they call it PII, just don’t call the next generation Ph3nom.

          • tfp
          • 11 years ago

          Agreed PhII or something else is better then PII.

    • Thanato
    • 11 years ago

    So why do Intel fan boys want AMD to go out of buisness?

    • casingh
    • 11 years ago

    Looks Appealing!!!

    • casingh
    • 11 years ago

    Looks appealing indeed!!

    • lex-ington
    • 11 years ago

    I find it amusing when the big blue gorilla has to react to the little green mouse.

    • SecretMaster
    • 11 years ago

    Man and I was thinking that a Phenom II build would have been the better route. But at prices this low…. decisions decisions decisions….

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 11 years ago

      Don’t forget that they aren’t anywhere close to done launching Phenom IIs yet.

    • swaaye
    • 11 years ago

    They’re not messing around. Nice. Maybe I’ll finally grab a 12MB Yorkfield.

    • khands
    • 11 years ago

    Who else thinks that 8 Processor CPU’s should be able to handle information by the byte? Yay linear scaling!

      • DrDillyBar
      • 11 years ago

      Lucid’s next product

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      Each processor can already handle information by 8 bytes.

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        -y g{<+<}gi +10Char.

          • b4b2
          • 11 years ago

          Haha. nicely done, it took a bit to figure it out.

    • Kunikos
    • 11 years ago

    I wonder if the rumored five-core Penryns will be making an appearance in March?

      • moose17145
      • 11 years ago

      I personally have never been a fan of odd numbers of cores like that. It seems like most software prefers an even number of cores, otherwise it just leaves one of the cores sitting unused.

        • UberGerbil
        • 11 years ago

        Most software really doesn’t care how many cores a CPU has. They do threads, not cores, and if they’re sufficiently multithreaded they’ll use however many cores the CPU offers. A lot of multithreaded software doesn’t even check how many cores are available, relying on the OS scheduler to take care of it; or they spin off n (or n-1) worker threads based on the number of cores without caring about the value of n (let alone whether it is even or a power of two).

        In any case there are always other things running — background services, driver interrupts, the OS itself, so it’s not like you get all the cores to yourself anyway.

        That said, as others have pointed out, a 5 core Penryn makes no sense at all.

          • Saber Cherry
          • 11 years ago

          Yep. It would take pretty bad programming practice to make software that is successfully multithreaded yet can’t deal with odd numbers of cores. It’s pretty much like making software that can process names that start with a capital letter and have only lower case subsequently, but break if there is a capital letter in the middle. You’d have to make a working program, and then add a bunch of broken garbage code to the working program, to cause it to break.

          Making the transition from one thread to multiple threads is incredibly hard in general (since it turns a deterministic algorithm into a nondeterministic one), but from an even number of cores to an odd number? There is no transition. It just works unless you take specific steps to make it not work. And while many programs need a specific and hard-coded number of threads, and sometimes that number is 2, no program actually needs a specific number of cores unless it is broken (or very low level). So increasing from 4 to 5 cores will make an 8-threaded program run better unless someone, somewhere, really messed up.

          That said, there a lot of bad programmers in the world; and even for good programmers, over-optimizing to a specific platform can be tempting.

            • Voldenuit
            • 11 years ago

            Yet the Phenom X3 reviews showed that many programs that scaled to 4 cores refused to scale with 3…

            • Saber Cherry
            • 11 years ago

            Yep. That’s just flat-out bad programming, or a technical flaw in the chip (there are many minor errata, but it would have to be a design flaw).

            A program that can make use of 6 or 8 cores should be more likely to not have bad programming, since it is more highly threaded, and thus it is more complex and harder to do. There is necessarily more effort to write things in a generic way for arbitrary cores rather than hacked-up spaghetti code that opens a trap door to performance land if it detects 4 cores. It just gets too confusing to do weird custom things with unneeded arbitrary restrictions with so many threads; so, basically, programmers are required to do things correctly or become lost in a sparse megabyte of chaos.

            • moose17145
            • 11 years ago

            Like i said… seems lots of programs don’t scale well with odd numbered cores lol. As was said, the programs that readily scaled to 4 cores often did not scale to 3 cores. Now whether that is a problem with the chip, or the more likely culprit, bad programming, the end result is still the same. Now that doesn’t mean its all bad if it doesn’t scale to all the cores, if a (poorly) coded program can for some reason only use an even number of cores, and thus only scales to 4 cores instead of 5, then i suppose that means you are just left with a free core to still browse the web, maybe play game, handle background tasks, etc. But i believe my point still stands.

            The main exception to the odd number of cores thing is obviously if there is only a single core, in which case the program will run just fine on the lone core.

            I will agree that most programs that will more than readily scale to 8+ threads will probably scale to a goofy number of threads as well, but i am also a “normal” home desktop user, and as a result, do not have a use for, or, more importantly, the money for such a high end program. But most desktop apps don’t seem to like the weird core numbers for some reason. But then again most desktop apps wont use more than two threads, and even then its just barely using more than a single thread. So i suppose its a moot point anyways…

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      Rumored 5 core Penryns? I’d never heard that and it doesn’t make sense anyway. How do you build a 5 core CPU when a 4 core CPU is made up of 2 dual cores in one package? There aren’t extra cores on the dual core chips that are disabled. For physical and certainly thermal packaging I doubt they could fit 3 dual cores with one disabled in to a single package.

        • srg86
        • 11 years ago

        I think he’s thinking of the 6 core Xeons.

          • UberGerbil
          • 11 years ago

          Dunnington. Yeah, could be. Five cores makes no sense whatsoever.

      • Krogoth
      • 11 years ago

      Dunningtons are MP-only, besides Core i7 already spanks it for the most part in a single socket environment.

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    l[<...coming—they'll hit on hit on Monday, January 19,...<]l Think there may be a small typo there.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      i don’t think don’t think so

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        lulz lulz

    • Crayon Shin Chan
    • 11 years ago

    All right! I have a problem with AMD’s current offerings – I want Q9400 performance at 200 dollars. Looks like Intel will help AMD do just that.

      • Flying Fox
      • 11 years ago

      I want Q9x50 for $200. How long do I have to wait?

    • krazyredboy
    • 11 years ago

    Darnit! I just bought a Q9550 a few weeks ago. If I had only waited a little while longer, I could have bought the 9650 for the same price I payed…oh well…I’ve been saying something similar for the last 5 years…and have been waiting…and now, I have finally upgraded and am very happy. My 3D work flies with this processor, now.

    Still, I have nothing to be mad about, as I doubt the performance difference between the Q9550 and Q9650 is that great…at least…I hope it isn’t…

      • Peffse
      • 11 years ago

      There’s always something that is discounted the next day…

      That’s why I usually cut myself off of media after a big purchase. Ignorance is bliss.

        • krazyredboy
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah…but I wish I could cut myself off. I’m like a tech junky, I need the fix, but I can’t typically afford it.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 11 years ago

          Free upgrade, unless you got a very basic mobo and minimum spec RAM: bump your FSB to 353, it likely wouldn’t require any voltage tweaks at all and voila! You’ve got a 3GHz q9550.

      • VILLAIN_xx
      • 11 years ago

      Skip taking your gf out to dinner once or twice. You’ll get your 49 bucks back.

      If you kick her to the curb you can build an i7 rig.

      😛

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 11 years ago

    Is this just a move aimed at cutting AMD margins? It seems to me that Intel is better off leaving prices way up there, because they can demand that premium. I’m not going to complain because I like prices coming down as much as the next person, but I just don’t think it makes a ton of sense business-wise. I guess they just want to empty their stockpiles of Penryns so that they can focus on Core i7.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 11 years ago

      This will make street prices for retail CPUs have a total platform price/performance advantage versus Phenom II rather than be roughly equal. I’m sure Intel wants to move these for inventory purposes as well. At the same time quad cores are still a small portion of shipments so it shouldn’t affect overall ASP too much. I wonder how this will affect prices of the low power quad core variants – they may take up the former price slots which could be another reason for the drops.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 11 years ago

        I think this is more about them not being able to move the CPUs, not AMD. If it were about AMD, they’d have probably cut the prices BEFORE. It’s kind of past the point now, because a price drop out of the blue isn’t anywhere near as big of news as a big CPU launch that people knew was coming for a year.

        AMD is still probably going to undercut them when the AM3 Phenom IIs come out. I don’t think Intel particularly cares. They’re just trying to milk Core 2 for all it’s worth before they move on.

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      The i7 is a small part of their business at the moment; financially it essentially doesn’t matter (strategically, of course, it matters very much). In fact it’s really just a shake-down run for the 2P server chip (Gainestown) that they’re smart enough to get enthusiasts and early adopters to pay to beta test.

      But demand for CPUs in general fell off a cliff at the end of ’07. So what should Intel do? Fabs are expensive to run, but they’re expensive to shut down (and start up again later). A small number of people will continue to buy at the high end, and that’s now the i7 chips. The rest, if they’re buying at all, will be looking for something cheaper. Does Intel preserve its ASP and give up marketshare to AMD at the low end? Do they drop their prices in the hopes of stimulating demand, and accept lower profits? Historically they’ve done the latter, but they’ve always worried that they won’t be able to bring ASPs back up again when conditions improve. Compared to past events like this (when demand fell after the dot com bust, or when they were losing marketshare in 2P servers to the Opteron) they’re actually in a much better position wrt their product mix (even if the larger economic conditions are far worse) because they can leave i7 prices high while discounting Penryn. Down the road, when the i5 is ready with its far-lower total system costs (thanks to a simpler chipset and dual-channel memory), they’ll be able to offer “a cheaper i7” without impacting their profit margins. (And meanwhile the real i7 will be in very-profitable 2P servers and workstations where it belongs).

      At least, that appears to be the theory.

    • VaultDweller
    • 11 years ago

    Good news, if true.

    I’ll be putting together a workstation in a couple months, and currently the Q6600 is at the price point I’ll be shopping for. It’s good to see that at least one Q9xxx series processor will be dropping to within the price range, as I’d otherwise be SOL if the Q6600 disappears from retail by then. Q8200 doesn’t cut it, as it lacks Intel VT.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    /[

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      You and me are in the same boat, I think.

    • continuum
    • 11 years ago

    IF this is true.. then… heeellloooo…

    I was planning on sticking with my Q6600 with a nice conservative OC (to 3.2ghz) for a while longer (til I can justify a Core i7 upgrade), but if I can get a Penryn to 3.6ghz or something nice and conservatively….. hmm….

      • dermutti
      • 11 years ago

      I highly recommend the Q9550. I got one a few weeks ago and it’s running stable at 3.53 jigahertz (on air cooling). Considering the premium Intel wants for the i7, an overclocked Core 2 Quad is a way better proposition.

      Also, unless you’re running heavily multithreaded apps, I bet that an overclocked Q9550 is better in most scenarios than a i7 920.

      • Skrying
      • 11 years ago

      Why? You clearly don’t have a real need for the extremely minor increase in speed. So why waste the money going for it?

        • srg86
        • 11 years ago

        Because he’s an enthusiast and that’s what us enthusiasts do.

          • continuum
          • 11 years ago

          Exactly!

          Life would be so much cheaper otherwise. Or at least my computer habit would be cheaper.

          But… when I see an “ooooh shiny” that actually has a real benefit, even if it’s an insignificant one, it is tempting.. =P

      • flip-mode
      • 11 years ago

      You would pay $163 or more for that measly bump?

        • continuum
        • 11 years ago

        Like I said… sanity has very little to do with this decision. 😉

        I’ll probably skip it, but while before, it was not really attractive– now it’s still not attractive, but it’s cheap enough for geek lust to MAYBE think about it…

    • SlyFerret
    • 11 years ago

    I agree… at $322, that’s pretty compelling!

    -SF

    • dropshadow
    • 11 years ago

    hello q9650!

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