Shopping for an Ivy Bridge processor on a budget has just gotten a little bit easier. Intel quietly updated its price list over the long weekend, and the revised document outlines some new Ivy Bridge desktop processors priced as low as $117—including several dual-core offerings.
The chips aren't yet included in Intel's ARK database, so you'll have to stay tuned for a full set of specs. Information about power envelopes, integrated graphics clock speeds, and hardware virtualization capabilities seems to be unavailable right now. Still, the price list gives us the essentials:
|Processor||Cores||Threads||Clock speed||L3 cache||Price|
|Core i5-3350P||4||4||3.10 GHz||6 MB||$177|
|Core i5-3330||4||4||3.00 GHz||6 MB||$182|
|Core i3-3240||2||4||3.40 GHz||3 MB||$138|
|Core i3-3225||2||4||3.30 GHz||3 MB||$134|
|Core i3-3220||2||4||3.30 GHz||3 MB||$117|
The $117 Core i3-3220 represents a pretty big step down from the $184 Core i5-3450, which has been the cheapest desktop Ivy Bridge processor in the list up until now. Budget shoppers will no doubt be pleased. Heck, we're pleased ourselves. The latest few iterations of the Econobox build from our own system guide have been saddled with the Core i3-2120, a 32-nm Sandy Bridge model. I expect the i3-3220 will make a fine substitute, provided there aren't more compelling AMD alternatives on offer.
Speaking of AMD, this quiet budget rollout comes barely a week after AMD's latest round of price cuts. Those cuts affected A- and FX-series desktop processors, and they brought the quickest Llano desktop APU to a buck over $100. The flagship FX-8150, which has eight threads and an unlocked upper multiplier, also fell to $183.