Look out, Phenoms: there's a new kid on the block. Intel has quietly introduced the Core 2 Quad Q8400, a $183 quad-core processor with a 2.66GHz clock speed, 4MB of L2 cache, and a 1333MHz front-side bus. In essence, this looks to be a cheaper, slightly stripped-down version of the Core 2 Quad Q9400 that's been selling for $220 or so these past few months. The only apparent differences are that the more expensive option has an extra meg of cache per dual-core die and virtualization support.
What does that mean for AMD? The Q9400 and Phenom II X4 940 are neck-and-neck in terms of performance, so introducing a cheaper yet almost equivalent processor may force AMD to cut prices. Perhaps that's why we saw the X4 940 listed for $189.99 (and $169.99 after a coupon code) at Newegg last week. For now, though, AMD's processor pricing page still says the 940 costs $225 in volume quantities.
But wait; there's more. Along with the Core 2 Quad Q8400, Intel has introduced a low-power Q8400S variant with a 65W thermal envelope and a $245 price tag. The chipmaker has also updated its price list with new, lower prices for a handful of other processors—mainly low-power and mobile offerings.
Here's what those cuts look like:
|Processor||Speed||L2 cache||FSB||TDP||Old price||New price|
|Core 2 Quad Q9300||2.50GHz||6MB||1333MHz||95W||$266||$213|
|Core 2 Quad Q9550S||2.83GHz||12MB||1333MHz||65W||$369||$320|
|Core 2 Quad Q9400S||2.66GHz||6MB||1333MHz||65W||$320||$277|
|Core 2 Quad Q8200S||2.33GHz||4MB||1333MHz||65W||$245||$213|
|Core 2 Duo SP9400||2.40GHz||6MB||1066MHz||25W||$316||$284|
|Core 2 Duo SL9400||1.86GHz||6MB||1066MHz||17W||$316||$284|
|Core 2 Duo SU9400||1.40GHz||3MB||800MHz||10W||$289||$262|
On the server front, the Xeon L3360, X3330, and X3320 have also been discounted. As far as we can tell, those CPUs are simply single-socket server variants of the Core 2 Quad Q9550S, Q9400, and Q9300, respectively.