I haven't gone running ever since I moved up to CT, but now that I'm back in NC I hope to get back into some sort of a routine. Having just got back from a late night run (pretty much the only time I can run during NC summers thanks to my body's desire to produce limitless amounts of heat), I was catching up on my news when I caught two articles of importance, both happened to be at DailyTech.

The first one is about Intel's upcoming Core 2 Duo E4300. In my Core 2 Duo review I talked about an E4200, but it looks like Intel has scrapped the E4200 and replaced it with the E4300. The E4200 was supposed to be a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo with a 2MB L2 cache but only an 800MHz FSB. The E4300 is a 1.8GHz part, also equipped with a 2MB L2 cache and the same 800MHz FSB. The now canceled (or delayed) E4200 and the new E4300 both lack VT support, which will surely become more than a meaningless feature without software support. I've updated my Conroe article to reflect the updated information, but this change in Intel's roadmap is important for one reason, and one reason alone: when was the last time Intel made a last minute change to a roadmap that gave us a faster CPU? The last case I can remember was the ill-fated Pentium III 1.13GHz.

Why did Intel ditch the E4200 and give us the E4300 instead? My bet is on the next piece of news that caught my eye today: AMD's new price cuts. The pricing information that came out shortly after Computex was indeed higher than AMD ended up going with, the new pricing is indeed far more competitive. Based on AMD's new pricing, we've got the following matchups:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 ($316) vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ ($282)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 ($224) vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ ($224)

  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 ($183) vs. AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ ($175)

You know how everyone always says that competition is good for the consumer? The fact that AMD's Athlon 64 X2 5000+ will drop from $649 to $282 by the end of this month is proof of just that.

Does AMD's new pricing change my processor recommendations? It most definitely can, but that obviously depends on what the availability picture looks like for the rest of this year. Assuming that these MSRPs actually translate into real world street pricing then here's my analysis of the new playing field:

E6600 vs. X2 5000+ ($316 vs. $282)

Based on the benchmarks I ran for my Core 2 Duo article, it looks like the E6600 would win this battle hands down. The E6600 costs a bit more, but would beat the 5000+ across the board.

E6400 vs. X2 4600+ ($224 vs. $224)

I'm still waiting on a E6400 to test but if I compare the 4600+ to the E6300 it's hard to declare a clear winner. Given that the E6400 will be faster than the E6300, it's still tough to say if there will be a clear winner - this battle may just end up being a toss up, or more than likely will boil down to street prices and availability.

E6300 vs. X2 4200+ ($183 vs. $175)

Just like the E6400 vs. X2 4600+ battle, it's tough to declare a true winner here. The E6300 pulls ahead in all of the gaming tests, while the 4200+ manages a few wins in the encoding and 3D rendering benchmarks. General application benchmarks generally favor the E6300 over the 4200+ but there are some cases where there's effectively a tie or the 4200+ pulls ahead.

My job would be very easy if that's all there was to it, but the trouble is that I'm not so sure how these price cuts are going to affect availability. With Core 2 Duo there simply aren't going to be many CPUs available initially and thus pricing will probably resemble the extreme ends of some of those Econ 101 supply/demand graphs. The problem on the Athlon 64 X2 side is that AMD is already suffering from limited capacity, and by cutting prices by more than 50% across the board demand isn't really going to go down.

A couple of things can happen:

  • Core 2 Duo is widely available, everyone buys it; some people buy the new cheaper X2s and AMD's capacity strains don't get too much worse

  • Core 2 Duo isn't widely available, its street prices skyrocket; people turn to the new cheaper X2s which then become scarce, sending its street prices upwards and nullifying the real world impact of these price cuts.

Or then again maybe I should just stick to the architectural and benchmark analysis and not comment on such items so far removed from my educational background :)

Needless to say, we're seeing a very price competitive AMD start to emerge from the smoke, an AMD we haven't seen in a while.

That's the end of your techie bedtime story, gnite folks and take care :)
POST A COMMENT

13 Comments

View All Comments

  • Regs - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    I thought of no better area to ask a opinionated question as other areas are based on fact or road maps.

    What do you thin will be AMD's answer to the Conroe? What do you think they'll have to change in the K8L or what do you think will be the best way to improved single threaded performance? In reality, to you think the K8L will offer a better core design or will they'll just improve

    You all ready stated that the ATi/AMD merger is intriguing for the future. Especially for integrated solutions. Plus with AMD's plans for Torrenza it's almost like this marriage was just waiting to happen. On top of that AMD has all ready hinted with the module designing of the K8L, that this ATI merger may bring benefits sooner than expected.
    Reply
  • Regs - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    Sorry for some reason my text got cut off in transistion - not the sites fault -



    I thought of no better area to ask a opinionated question as other areas are based on fact or road maps.

    What do you think will be AMD's answer to the Conroe? What do you think they'll have to change in the K8L or what do you think will be the best way to improve single threaded performance? In reality, do you think the K8L will offer a better core design or will they'll just improve a few aspects of the K8?

    You all ready stated that the ATi/AMD merger is intriguing for the future. Especially for integrated solutions. Plus with AMD's plans for Torrenza it's almost like this marriage was just waiting to happen. On top of that AMD has all ready hinted with the module designing of the K8L, that this ATI merger may bring benefits sooner than expected.
    Reply
  • Agginor - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    quote:

    E6600 vs. X2 5000+ ($316 vs. $282)

    Based on the benchmarks I ran for my Core 2 Duo article, it looks like the E6600 would win this battle hands down. The E6600 costs a bit more, but would beat the 5000+ across the board.



    I would agree with you that E6600 smoked the 5000+. There's still two reasons to go with the 5000+; motherboard prices and SLI. There are'nt any SLI certified boards available for the Core 2 processor at the moment, and most of the motherboards available for the Core 2 are around $100 more then AMD based boards. For a person on a budget, going with a more mature CPU with a well tested motherboard for perhaps $100 less might be worth it. For those that want SLI, we'll AMD is your only choice.
    Reply
  • namechamps - Monday, July 31, 2006 - link

    An important consideration.

    I wish sites like anandtech would do a benchmark like

    $1000 AMD system vs $1000 Intel system.
    $2000 AMD system vs $2500 Intel system.
    $3000 AMD system vs $3000 Intel system.

    Because let's say the E6600 is in tight supply and sells at a premium $350. Add to that a $100 premium on MB. The AMD system would have about $170 to play with. $170 more money thrown into video cards would even the gap (and most likely result in an AMD win). Add to the fact that AMD has flexibility of SLI system (and $170 more to buy higher end GPU) and it could be a knock out.

    Now some people will say $$$ is no object. what is the best system at any price. For the other 99% of us $$ is a consideration. I for one would like to see if money is better spent upgrading my GPU then buying a new MB and hard to find (hence expensive) CPU.
    Reply
  • dangerousdan99 - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    Great blog! I've added a link to your blog on Blog of the Day under the category of Computer. To view the feature of your blog, please visit http://blogoftheday.org/page/111674">http://blogoftheday.org/page/111674 Reply
  • GhandiInstinct - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    Hey Anand,

    I was wondering if you could take a tip on bettering the posting system on AnandTech.

    Perhaps have the highest rated comments in a different color or in a "top rated" section of sorts.

    It's quite distressing to scroll down a popular article for worthwhile-to-read posts.

    Thanks :)
    Reply
  • SonicIce - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    Even if a Core 2 and an X2 perform the same, wouldn't the Core 2 use less power and run cooler? Reply
  • epsilonparadox - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    If AMD is relegated as being a budget processor again by Intel's introduction of the C2D, AMD's credibility in the industry will be blown and Intel will again dominate the market. AMD is in considerable pressure to make sure their K8L architecture dominates Intel's current architecture when the K8L debuts. If not, Intel's deep pockets and their move to the 45nm process, will ensure that AMD will not be able to handle another price war. Reply
  • Spoonbender - Tuesday, July 18, 2006 - link

    Well, AMD is a lot better able to handle a price war today than they were 4 years ago. Today they're actually turning a profit to begin with. And they have products that still dominate in some markets. (Opteron in high-end servers). And probably most importantly, they've got their name out there... Hell, even Dell has started selling AMD, right?

    They'll do fine. Maybe not as well as they have for the last year or so, but they're quite able to handle a price war.
    Reply
  • microAmp - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    They may or may not be able to handle price war. They still haven't recouped their losses from 01 to 03, a total bit over 1.6 billion dollars. The past two years, not including last quarter or this coming up one, has only made enough to cover the 2003 losses. I hope they stay afloat and don't get into a price war. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now