Intel's 45nm, Penryn, processor line-up currently suffers from still carrying a not-inconsiderable premium over the older generation chips. According to DailyTech, that's set to change come Q3 this year as Intel's current roadmap shows price drops scheduled to hit then. A couple of new CPUs are also set to be released, although some of the current range will be dropped at the same time.
Both quad and dual-core CPUs are set for a refresh. A 3.33GHz Core 2 Duo E8600 will be introduced at (per 1,000 units) $266 (£134), the E8300 dropped entirely and the E8500 and E8400 will see their prices lowered to $183 (£93) and $163 (£82) respectively. Last on the dual-core side of things, the E7200 will have its price dropped to $113 (£75) to accommodate the 2.66GHz E7300 at $133 (£67).
The older Q6700 is to be phased out, leaving the Q6600 as the only 65nm CPU, at $203 (£103). The 45nm Q9300 will also be discontinued while the Q9450's price is lowered to $266 (£135) and Q9550's to $316 (£160). At the top end the QX9650 will be accompanied by a likewise clocked, but multiplier locked Q9650 costing $530 (£270).
This refresh will doubtless put pressure on AMD as it currently has the advantage of hitting lower price points than many of Intel's CPUs. Of course, there's nothing to stop AMD from dropping its own prices, though whether it can afford to do so is another matter entirely.