Intel and AMD, Price War Anew?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sunday's announcement by Intel came as a surprise to me. I first read about it in a Twitter update to my mobile phone. I immediately went online to check the details. The highest cuts were on the higher-end CPU's and some of the prices were brought down by as much as 50%. The lower-end chips, the segment I have particular interest in, were brought down by about 10%. This is really aggressive pricing by Intel. With prices like these, it's now actually possible to build a budget quad-core machine. The most notable price drops were in specific models, probably to target similarly spec'd CPU's from AMD's line-up. Some of them were: Xeon 3230, from $530 to $266 (50% drop); Core 2 Quad Q6700, from $530 to $266 (51% drop); Core 2 Duo E6850, from $266 to $183 (31% drop); Pentium Dual-Core E2200 from $84 to $74 (12% drop); and the Pentium Dual-Core E2180 from $74 to $64 (14% drop). You can go to this link to view the whole list: http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/10/101302/April_20_08_pricelist.pdf

Today's announcement by AMD pales in comparison. They announced a refreshed line-up for their triple-core Phenom chips. You can view the press announcement here: http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,51_104_543_15434~125200,00.html. The price cuts by Intel in a way threaten the brilliant marketing move by AMD to segment the multi-core market. Initially, it seemed like a great idea. Create a sub-segment for people moving from dual-core but can't afford a quad-core processor, or otherwise think x4 is priced too high. It's rather unfortunate that something so brilliant could be usurped by something as simple as a price cut.

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