Intel is adding a number of new processors for gamers and high-end PC users, including the first dual-core mobile chip from the companys Core 2 Extreme line.
Starting July 16, Intel will debut its Core 2 Extreme X7800 processor for notebooks, which the company said will boost performance by about 28 percent compared to its previous generation of mobile chips.
The dual-core X7800 processor—clocked at 2.6GHz and offering 4MB of L2 cache and a 800MHz FSB (front side bus)—is Intels second offering in its Core 2 Extreme lineup, which also includes the X6800 for desktops. Notebooks using the new X7800 processor, selling for a price of $851 per 1,000 units shipped, should start appearing within the next two weeks, according to Santa Clara, Calif., company.
Intel plans to offer its first quad-core chip for laptops in 2008.
In addition to the new mobile processor, Intel is rolling out the Core 2 Extreme QX6850, a quad-core processor for desktops. This processor offers a faster clock speed —3.0GHz— and FSB —1333MHz— compared to the other two models it offers for high-end systems—the QX6800 and the QX6700.
Intel also plans to deliver another quad-core processor — the Core 2 Quad Q6700 — for desktops on July 16 as well. This model will offer a better clock speed — 2.66GHz — compared to the current Q6600, which runs at 2.4GHz.
The QX6850 will sell for $999 per 1,000 units, while the Q6700 will sell for $530, according to Intel.
Finally, Intel will also debut three new models in its dual-core Core 2 Duo processor lineup, including one model—the E6850—with a clock speed of 3.0GHz. The other two new processors, the E6750 and the E6550, are clocked at 2.66GHz and 2.33GHz respectively.
All three models offer 4MB of L2 cache and all three will offer a faster FSB — 1333MHz — compared to older models that have FSB of 1066MHz. The E6850 will sell for $266 per 1,000 units shipped, while the E6750 and the E6550 will sell for $183 and $163 each.
In a statement, Intel said the release of the these dual- and quad-core chips will coincide with the one-year anniversary of its Core microarchitecture.
The release of the new architecture in 2006 helped Intel fight back against Advanced Micro Devices, which had been surging ahead thanks to its family of desktop and notebook chips that were widely considered to be more powerful and energy efficient.
The chips built using the Core architecture have helped Intel improve its profits and its gross margins. In April, when Intel announced its financial report for the first quarter, its gross margins were 50.1 percent, which was ahead of its target of 49 percent. The company is expected to announce its second-quarter numbers on July 17.
In November of last year, Intel was the first of the two chip makers to launch quad-core processors for desktops and servers. AMDs quad-core Opteron processor— "Barcelona"—is not expected until August.
Intel now plans to begin shrinking its chips from a 65-nanometer manufacturing process to a 45-nanometer process. The first of its "Penryn" family of processors is slated to arrive by the end of 2007.