As much as I love the rapid pace at which the CPU industry progresses, it does mean that I regularly find myself trying to sell various internal organs in order to upgrade my system again. Although we were expecting to wait a while longer to hear any more news about Intel's impending 45nm processor release, some rather interesting details on pricing and release date have in fact surfaced, courtesy of DailyTech.
We now know that the first Penryn chip to be made available to the public will (in historic Intel style) be the new top-end QX9650 Extreme Edition, which will feature four cores clocking in at 3.0GHz apiece on a 1333MHz FSB, boasts 12MB of cache and comes with a 130W TDP. Costing $999 in 1,000 unit batches the QX9650 will be available from the 12th of November in the US, though we can't be sure the UK will be so lucky - fingers crossed for a simultaneous international release.
Lower down the food chain we have the Q9950 clocked at 2.83GHz, the Q9450 at 2.66 and the Q9300 at 2.5GHz. These three chips all have the same 12MB of Level 2 cache but lower 95W TDPs. On the dual core front the new top-spec chip is the E8500 at 3.16GHz with a 120W TDP, as well as the 3.0GHz E8400 and 2.66GHz E8200 carrying 80W TDPs. All these processors will come with 6MB of cache.
All of these parts will be shipping in January, conveniently timed to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show. 1,000 unit pricing is set at $530 for the Q9950, $316 for the Q9450, $266 for the Q9300 and E8500 and lastly $183 for the E8400. No price is given for E8200 as yet, possibly because a fourth dual core offering, in the form of the E8300, is scheduled to slot into the line-up but hasn't been confirmed specifically.
Based on the current range of Conroe processors, I would expect that the Q9300 is going to become the new Q6600, while the extra clock speed of the E8500 is going to be of more benefit for the next few months or so. Looking further forward, the benefit of the extra cores will really make itself known and, if what we've seen so far holds true, it should prove a fair overclocker too. So, who wants to buy a kidney?