Intel Seeks Mainstream Acceptance of Core 2 PCs With Powerfully Low Cost

By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-06-07 Print this article Print

Intel is making a run at more mainstream customers with a plan to have Core 2 Duo desktops selling for less than $1,000 at the outset.

Intel wants its forthcoming Core 2 Duo desktop chips to be very popular.

To that end, the chip maker will aim the dual-core chips, due to start shipping in July, at desktops priced under $1,000, versus restricting them to more expensive hardware.

Although those looking for extra performance or exclusivity will be able to purchase one of Intel's Core 2 Extreme chips.

The move will ostensibly allow Core 2 Duo to capture more sales by playing to mainstream business desktops and corporate workstations as well as upper midrange and high-end consumer desktops.

Collectively, the categories represent a larger number of models than high-end desktops, the usual first stop for brand-new processors.

Click here to read more about Intel's plans to streamline its business.

Intel, whose CEO Paul Otellini has made no secret of his desire to recapture market share that Intel has lost to rival Advanced Micro Devices, will deliver about half a dozen Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme chips at launch.

The chip maker credits a quick ramp of its new 65-nanometer manufacturing process, a company spokesman said, for making it possible to offer the range of chips at a price spread that makes it possible for them to fit into midrange desktops.

Normally, brand new desktop PC processors populate the upper-end of the market—where machines start at prices such as $1,200 or $1,500—and only fall into the midrange, roughly under $1,000, and lower reaches over time.

But Otellini has said Intel would price the Core 2 Duo on top of its Pentium D, indicating that Core 2 Duos for desktops will slot into its normal price range of just under $200 to just over $600.

A sub-$1,000 Core Duo system won't have all the bells and whistles of a more expensive desktop, however.

For one, the less-expensive machines are likely to rely on so-called integrated graphics or graphics processors that are part of their chipsets. Chipsets, handle the routing of data inside a PC.

However, Intel will deliver a new chip set family, dubbed the 965, to go with Core 2 Duo. The family—the first of which to be announced is a P965—will add support for 800MHz DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2 DRAM), along with new features designed to increase the quality of video playback and quiet down systems.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Intel Seeks Mainstream Acceptance of Core 2 PCs With Powerfully Low Cost

John G. Spooner John G. Spooner, a senior writer for eWeek, chronicles the PC industry, in addition to covering semiconductors and, on occasion, automotive technology. Prior to joining eWeek in 2005, Mr. Spooner spent more than four years as a staff writer for CNET News.com, where he covered computer hardware. He has also worked as a staff writer for ZDNET News.

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