Intel rings 27 July for ‘Conroe’ chips

Intel is expected to launch its dual-core Core 2 Duo processors – aimed at desktop machines – on the 27th of this month. The new range of Pentium-replacements is slated to be unveiled at a company event.

Based on Intel’s Core Microarchitecture, the ‘Conroe’ chips are earmarked to replace the company’s existing Pentium D family and take on AMD’s Athlon 64 X2 chips in the affections of gamers and high-end PC users. Intel is confident that the faster and more power efficient range will be able to overtake AMD’s dual-core Athlons and win back market share. A notebook version of the chip, codenamed ‘Merom’, is expected later this year – possibly in August.

In preparation for the launch of the Core 2 Duo desktop processors Intel is said to be planning a price cut for its Pentium D series from 23 July ranging from $316 for the top of the line 960 down to $113 for the 820.

AMD looks to be taking the challenge of the Core 2 Duo seriously. The Athlon 64 X2 3600+ processor is now expected to appear in the third quarter of the current year and not the fourth quarter as originally planned. Presumably pricing will be set when AMD finds out what the Intel price points are.

The new Conroe chip, along with any response from AMD, will be the first shots in a new phase of the processor wars. Both companies will be fighting for market share as users get ready to upgrade their computers in preparation for the launch of the Vista operating system early next year.

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