Intel To Pare Pentium D Dual-Core Lineup

"Market demand for the[se] desktop Intel Pentium D processors has shifted to other Intel processors," the Intel documents said. Non-cancellable orders for the devices will be accepted until Oct. 6.

The winnowing of the four older Pentium D models comes in the wake of the recent launch of Intel's new desktop Core 2 Duo processors, also known as "Conroe." The new chips use Intel's new Core microarchitecture, widely seen as its cleanest dual-core design to date.

In contrast, the older Pentium D 8XX and 9XX devices use Intel's first-generation dual-core design. That architecture applies two distinct cores, which communicate with each other over a front-side bus. Core 2 Duo has its two cores on the same silicon die, enabling faster inter-processor communication and a shared L2 cache.

However, Intel's product change notice will still leave many of its older dual-core chips in place. When the 3.0-GHz Pentium D 830 and 3.2-GHz Pentium D 840 are discontinued, the 8XX line will still have its two lower-end, bargain options: the 2.66-GHz 805, which widely retails for about $110, and the 2.8-GHz 820, which sells for $120.

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Intel's 9XX line, which sits below the Core 2 Duos on Intel's product hierarchy, is currently in widespread deployment, while the newly introduced Core 2 Duos continue to ramp up in production and availablity. The to-be-discontinued 3.0-GHz Pentium D 930 and 3.2-GHz 940 sit squarely in the middle of that product family. Five other 9XX processors " the 915, 920, 945, 950, and 960 -- will continue to be produced. The Pentium Extreme Edition 955 and 965 will also remain. The 9XX processors range in street price from about $140 for a 915 to about $300 for a 960.

There are five Core 2 Duo desktop offerings: The E6300, E6400, E6600, E6700, and Extreme X6800. Because of still-limited retail availability, all tend to currently command somewhat more than Intel's list price. A spot check of prices on Monday showed them ranging around $210 for an E6300 to $600 for an E6700. An Xtreme 6800 lists for $999, in terms of the OEM pricing quoted to major PC makers. On the retail market where individuals buy boxed processors, it currently commands as much as $1,200.