Intel Pentium D 960 hits shelves in Japan

AKIBA PC Hotline! has spotted an unannounced Pentium D 960 processor in Japan (translate here). The chip runs at 3.6GHz, has 2MB of L2 cache per core, and seems to be based on the same 65nm Presler core as the rest of Intel's 9xx line. The 960 isn't the fastest chip in Intel's desktop dual-core lineup—that role is filled by the 3.73GHz Pentium Extreme Edition 965—but AKIBA says the chip is priced between the equivalent of $592 and $618, which makes it a good deal cheaper than the $999 Extreme Edition. There is no word on performance, but if this chip performs between the 3.4GHz Pentium D 950 and the 3.73GHz Extreme Edition, it could put up a decent fight against AMD's Athlon 64 X2 4200+ and 4400+ processors. Those chips are priced at $357 and $460 respectively, though, so Intel may have a tough time turning heads in the high-end desktop segment if US prices aren't significantly below $600. At least this should be enough to tide over loyal Intel fans until Conroe comes out this summer.
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