Sandy Bridge to become a cheaper date in September

Here we are, some eight months after Intel’s Sandy Bridge CPUs debuted, and the price of most of those chips hasn’t budged. Intel has, in the past, cut prices every so often, either to make room for new chips with higher clock speeds or to keep pace with AMD discounts. Sandy Bridge hasn’t seen much competition from the AMD camp, though, and we’ve yet to see anything replace the Core i7-2600K at the top of the line.

According to CPU World, Intel does have some Sandy Bridge price cuts in the cards. Come September, The Core i7-2600S and the Core i5-2500T, 2500S, 2405S, 2400S, and 2390T will see their prices drop by 2-6%—small change, in other words. More substantial price cuts are purportedly slated for October, when the Core i3-2120 and a couple of Pentiums will be discounted by 13-15%. Look out, Llano.

Sadly, the most appealing CPUs for enthusiasts, the fully unlocked Core i5-2500K and i7-2600K, appear set to hold the line on pricing. That’s a little surprising given the (hopefully) imminent debut of Bulldozer-based desktop chips from AMD, which will surely include similarly unlocked derivatives. We don’t yet know how Bulldozer will perform, of course. Perhaps Intel has more insight on how much of a threat the upcoming FX processors will be.

Comments closed
    • Abdulahad
    • 8 years ago

    Intel:… “..and for most of the year we have been milking the ignorant buyers dead, rocketed the ego of the fanatics sky high( of course with synonymous prices), we are happy to announce a price cut so that we have some time to count our massive wealth”

    • Alouette Radeon 4870
    • 8 years ago

    It doesn’t matter how much of a threat Bulldozer will be because Intel doesn’t drop prices easily. They know that sheeple tend to buy Intel because they’ve never heard of anything else. Remember when the Phenom II X4 940 came out and was more or less dead-even with the Q9400 except that it was $100 cheaper? Well, Intel never dropped their Core2Quad prices to compete with Phenom II. Even today, if you can find a Q9550 for under $300, you’re lucky despite the fact that it’s massacred by the far less expensive Phenom II X4 965 and 970 CPUs.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    This isn’t really surprising: if BD was going to affect the prices of anything SandyBrdige, it would be the EX and ES variants. AMD has already fired its salvo at mainstream desktop/mobile CPUs; unfortunately Llano was like peanuts against panzers.

      • Voldenuit
      • 8 years ago

      I always thought BD was targeted at mainstream Sandy Bridge, not EX. That’s why we have 4- and 6- core FX variants.

      Llano is more of a low end product (at least on the desktop), and while it is good news for laptops and low end desktops, the FM1 platform won’t be challenging Corei5 (which is mainstream) until Trinity. By which time intel will probably have mainstream IB out. Although if we take intel’s conservative projections for IB at face value (30% faster IGP than SB), AMD will still have an APU advantage over IB.

        • chuckula
        • 8 years ago

        I think that IB will “win” the graphics war at the new 17 watt power consumption point that Intel seems to be pushing for Ultrabooks (seemingly because Apple has been threatening Intel to drop the power usage for the next Macbook Air). If you look closely at the benchmarks, Llano REALLY kicks ass graphically on the desktop, and IB will not do much to close the gap. However, down around 17 watt TDPs, you are below Llano and are pushing on the high-end of Bobcat systems where even existing Intel graphics are ahead simply because Bobcat is a much smaller chip.

        Intel isn’t trying to win the integrated graphics war at every price/power level, but IB should be pretty successful in the lower-power mobile niche as an APU (and also as a CPU over the total mobile range too).

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Intel must either be extremely confident about SB-E coming soon after Bulldozer to squish it or know something about performance from Bulldozer that makes them feel fine with SB facing off against it at current pricing.

    Or perhaps they don’t want to lower prices, then have AMD show up at even lower prices, and then seem desperate when they lower prices again to match Bulldozer.

    Any way you slice it, it makes sense for Intel to hold their cards close to their chest on any pricedrops on the high end of SB. Still, this illustrates why competition needs to show up and like yesterday to force Intel to actually lower prices. Else, they’d kick back, sit at launch prices, and drink expressos on a beach somewhere.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 8 years ago

    Oh no! Intel didn’t violate their entire range of laptop, desktop, and workstation price tiers that have been locked in place since the Pentium 4 because of one future server chip rebadged as an extremely low volume DIY desktop part! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    Food for thought: Intel’s direct response to the entire Athlon 64 line was to introduce the $999 extreme edition brand we still know today…with a single, more expensive Pentium 4. I’m sure someone is going to write that off as a mistake, and yet, seven years later, the brand and price are still holding up.

    This is a business and it’s all about building brands, not directly matching one chip against another on the fly. No matter what, Intel aren’t going to devalue the entire i7 brand below the $280-ish tier, which is more prevalent in laptops than desktops. Now THAT would be the sky falling.

    • Walkintarget
    • 8 years ago

    Such a good time to buy when Intel’s top chip is selling for around $300, but yet such a bad time to buy for the indecisive awaiting the new chips ship as BD.

    I can hold on for another month on my Q6700/GTX280 rig. Piece by piece, I’m getting the best deals on the parts that are now very cheap or good buys – 8gb DDR3 for $45 AR or an Antec 750w PSU for $60, then pull the trigger on the big ticket items when things become more clear in September.

      • NeelyCam
      • 8 years ago

      Once BD is here, it’s already too close to IB, so you’ll end up waiting even longer…

    • Game_boy
    • 8 years ago

    EDIT: If the 2600K stays above $300, does that mean Intel six cores will also stay above $300 for another year? IB won’t have a hexcore for some time either.

      • chuckula
      • 8 years ago

      Where did you get this from:
      So this means the SB-E 4-core model will be more expensive than the 2600K, ???

      No SB-E chips are listed in the article. The rumored price for the 4-core SB-E chip is $294 which is about $25 less than the existing price for the 2600K.

        • Game_boy
        • 8 years ago

        Was confused, but doesn’t alter my point.

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    I hope this isn’t an ominous sign of things to come (particularly about Bulldozer). Does this mean BD will only be able to compete with the discounted Intel CPUs? I’d expect Intel to hit BD by discounting the i5 and i7 chips if BD is gonna give those good competition.

    I [u<]sincerely[/u<] hope all the eagerness and excitement around BD aren't for nothing...

      • no51
      • 8 years ago

      I WANT TO BELIEVE.

        • NeronetFi
        • 8 years ago

        We are not alone….

          • dpaus
          • 8 years ago

          Watch the skies…

            • LiamC
            • 8 years ago

            The truth is out there…

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            … but can you handle it?

    • smilingcrow
    • 8 years ago

    Here’s hoping BD is very good as Intel seem to be having a bad year and sleepwalking through chipset bugs, SSD firmware issues, platform delays and general failure to kick Atom into shape.
    They seem to be drifting and there’s nothing like competition to wake someone up.
    Go AMD.

    Is it likely that Intel have access to a BD Engineering Sample? It shouldn’t be that difficult for them to source one!

      • ronch
      • 8 years ago

      If there’s anyone who knows anything about BD, it’s not Intel. It’s DonanimHaber. 😛

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        He knows more about BD than AMD.

          • ronch
          • 8 years ago

          I don’t know how these DonanimHaber guys are getting all the info. Either they have a mole inside AMD or they’re making it all up.

            • NeelyCam
            • 8 years ago

            If they are making it all up, they have a fantastic track record making things up…

            My vote is on the mole.

    • Voldenuit
    • 8 years ago

    Expensive and crippled chipsets (running PCIE2.0 slots at 1.0 speeds, no native USB3) make me leery of going with SB.

    The big question for me right now is whether to go with Bulldozer, or to get a Llano+FM1 platform in anticipation of Trinity.

      • DancinJack
      • 8 years ago

      Why is native USB 3.0 an issue for you? AMD’s implementation is slower than the NEC chip.

      e: Also P67’s PCIe 2.0 lanes run at full speed.

      [url<]https://techreport.com/articles.x/20241[/url<]

        • smilingcrow
        • 8 years ago

        I’ve had issues when using a Kingston USB 3.0 flash drive in both desktops and laptops that use 3rd party USB 3.0 controllers. They are all Intel systems and the controller in all cases was integrated by the manufactures and not add-on cards that I’d installed.
        They seem not to recognise the drive unless an O/S is running so I can’t boot from it or use it to update the BIOS. I imagine that a native controller will resolve this as I can use the same drive on the USB 2 ports with no problems.

        • Voldenuit
        • 8 years ago

        Good point. I’d forgotten that P67 has full speed x1 PCIE slots.

        However, there’s still no getting around the senseless segregation of overclocking and IGP support in H67 and P67.

        Meanwhile, even the super-expensive Z68 chipset won’t allow IGP use (and by extension, QuickSync) with a discrete card without a third party workaround such as Lucid Hydra, which degrades performance.

        AMD and intel chipsets both have their limitations, but where AMD’s shortcomings seem to be technical, intel’s seem to exist for no other reason than artificial market segregation and to piss the consumer off.

          • UberGerbil
          • 8 years ago

          For Intel, it’s all about the market segmentation. Pissing off “enthusiast” consumers is just a happy side-effect.

        • NeelyCam
        • 8 years ago

        Because he’s an AMD fanboi, and he needs justification to remain one.

        He’s probably uttered the words “Q6600 is crap because it’s not a [i<]true[/i<] quad-core"

          • sweatshopking
          • 8 years ago

          i love my q6600, but it’s not a true quad core. it’s still WAY faster than amd’s first true quad cores, the phenom.

          • Voldenuit
          • 8 years ago

          Don’t go putting words in my mouth, or ascribe ideological stances to me, just because I was mistaken on one specific technical issue (which I freely admitted to several posts back).

          FWIW, I have both intel and AMD systems in my house.

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Neither of them matters to non-server/workstation users.

      You don’t “need” CF/SLI to obtain an quality gaming experience (High-end single cards can effortlessly handle 2Megapixels and can even do 4Megapixels if don’t use AA/AF). You most certainly don’t need PCIe SSD cards (too many issues, their extreme bandwidth is utterly wasted on a non-server). I doubt you would want to put in a high-end SAS card or a 10Gpbs NIC in a SB system. There’s no difference between native and third party support, which matters is implementation. The current NEC USB 3.0 controllers work quite well.

      You think the current SB chipsets are expensive? The upcoming chipsets for Sandy-Bridge-E are going to be even more expensive.

    • imtheunknown176
    • 8 years ago

    That’s why you buy the 2500k at microcenter, if you have one in the area. $180

      • yehuda
      • 8 years ago

      Two weeks ago it was $150 over there. It’s really nice they manage such good deals on Intel processors.

        • loophole
        • 8 years ago

        Yeah, it’s just crazy some of the discounts you see – the i7 960 was 179.99 a few months ago too.

    • DancinJack
    • 8 years ago

    $12 for the biggest cut. Impressive Intel.

      • Goty
      • 8 years ago

      In general, Intel’s corporate policy seems to be to not offer price cuts, but to offer new products at the same price points (this being my personal experience working with Intel at a previous job), so this isn’t really out of the ordinary. They don’t have Ivy Bridge ready quite yet, so they’ll drop prices just enough that people notice so as to prop up demand for a bit.

      • Mystic-G
      • 8 years ago

      Better off catching a deal at Newegg.

      • maroon1
      • 8 years ago

      The biggest cut is $21

      Core i3-2120 is going to drop from $138 to $117

        • DancinJack
        • 8 years ago

        I was just commenting on the Sept. price cuts.

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