AMD And Intel Promotions Slash Dual-Core Prices

AMD in February knocked down prices by more than 40 percent on a range of its dual-core server processor models. For example, AMD cut the dual-core 870HE model by $1,135 down to a price of $1,514. The 2GHz 870HE is for four- to eight-socket servers and offers a lower power envelope compared with a typical 95 watts for similar dual-core Opteron parts.

Several other 800 series processors also were reduced, including the 95-watt 1.8GHz 865, down to $698 from an original price of $1,165.

In addition, AMD cut prices on its dual-core processors for servers using one or two sockets. Among the cuts were the 2.4GHz 280, which was reduced to $851 from $1,299, and the 275, lowered to $690 from $1,051.

The price changes were confirmed by an AMD spokeswoman and are available on the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s Web site. All prices are for low quantities.

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Also in February, Intel launched a promotional discount on three dual- core desktop models for the channel.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chip giant is offering an instant rebate of $80 on the 840, a 3.2GHz Pentium D priced at $530 in low quantities. Other discounts include a $60 instant rebate on the 830, a 3GHz Pentium D, and $40 on the 2.8GHz Pentium D. The promotion lasts through April 22.

Intel has publicly said that it aims to transition the market to dual-core processors quickly by offering aggressive pricing on its newest processors.

“They really are going to push the prices down to single core,” said Doug Philips, senior director of Emerging Technologies, Syracuse, N.Y. “It seems like the right time to start pushing the prices down,” he added.

Intel is scheduled to ship its second-generation dual-core server processors with hardware-assisted virtualization for the new Bensley platform in March, with servers showing up in the first half of the year. AMD is expected to ship its dual-core processors with virtualization technology during the first half as well.

AMD is expected to announce new clock speeds to its Opteron line Mar. 6, at the same time Intel is scheduled to kick off its annual developer conference in San Francisco.