Intel Cuts Prices For Core i5, Core i7

Intel added two new Core i5 mobile chips, the 580M and the 560M, which are both designed for notebook PCs. The i5-580M runs at 2.66 Ghz, with 3M L2 cache, two cores, and four threads, and is priced at $266. The i5-560M offers the same clock speed for $225. The price difference is attributable to its Turbo Boost technology of 3.2 GHz compared to the 580M's 3.33 GHz.

In addition, Intel is offering new list prices for power-efficient chips featured in mobile and embedded devices, including tablets. The ultra-low power, dual-core, 1.33-GHz Core 560 is now $250. It features 3MB of L2 cache and four threads on a 32-nm die.

Intel also updated the pricing for some of its more powerful mobile chips. The 640M Core i7 dual-core processor runs at 2.8GHz and is now available for $346. It features 4MB of L2 cache and four threads with 32 nm die.

Customers can trade in pure performance for power-efficiency at the same price, with the Core i7 660 LM which will run at 2.26 GHz and offers the same 4MB of L2 cache, two cores, four threads, and 32nm die.

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The most power efficient of all, the 1.46GHz i7-680UM is set at $317 with 4MB of L2 cache, two cores, four threads, and 32nm die.

Other models include the 1.33GHz i5-560UM available for $250, the 1.46-GHz i7-680UM available for $317, and the 2.26-GHz i7-660LM available for $346. At the lower end, Intel's new mobile Celeron P4600 and T3500 processors are now priced at $86 and $80, respectively.

In mid-September, a Canacord Genuity analyst said Intel "dramatically" cut its microprocessers and chipset prices--including both the Core i5 and Core i7 -- to boost demand. The report reflected the trend of OEMs cutting orders -- except for Apple, whose popular iPad tablet may be contributing to slumping demand, which the analyst said would continue in Q3 and Q4.

Last week, rival AMD released its new line of Phenom II and Athlon II CPUs, considered a more affordable alternative to the ubiquitous Intel core processors. The cheapest of AMD's new microprocessors is the $76 dual Athlon II X2 265, which runs at 3.3GHz and comes with 2MB of cache.

An Intel spokesperson said releasing price sheetsover the weekend is typically the way the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker updates their prices.