Sandy Bridge processor pricing starts at $119.99 for the Core i3-2100, which is pretty darn affordable. It looks like we might see some cheaper variants still, though. A story by Chinese site Inpai names no less than four Pentium-branded Sandy Bridge processors, and it includes some performance estimates.
The Sandy Bridge-powered Pentium family will apparently be crowned by the Pentium G850, a dual-core, dual-thread design with a 2.9GHz clock speed, 3MB of L3 cache, and a 65W thermal envelope. Word is that there will also be a 2.8GHz Pentium G840, a 2.6GHz G620, and a 2.2GHz G620T with a 35W TDP. For reference, the Core i3-2100 runs at a peppier 3.1GHz and sports Hyper-Threading capabilities.
Inpai ran some simulated Pentium G840 benchmarks using a tweaked Core i3-2100, and the results are interesting. Apparently, the G840's performance would lie somewhere in between that of the i3-2100 and the existing Pentium G6950, which is based on the older Clarkdale design. If the price is right and these Sandy Bridge-powered Pentiums prove to have decent overclocking potential, they could be great deals for cash-strapped consumers. (Thanks to VR-Zone for the link.)