45nm: Time and Price . . .

When a new generation of processors come out, overclockers have two initial questions about it:

  • When will it come out?
  • How much will the cheapest one be?

    HKEPC.com has the answers to those questions in its latest Intel roadmaps.

    First, we won’t see the things on the desktop until the beginning of 2008. Given Intel’s 45nm fab plant schedule, the 45nm rollout will probably be slow like Conroe’s.

    There’s been some toing-and-froing on the date of product introduction, but what I suspect is that we’ll see the initial 45nm chips show up on the server side a bit earlier than Q1 2008 for benchmark war purposes, then the desktop will follow.

    Second, the cheapest price on the 45nm dual cores will be at the $183 price level, again, much like Conroe.

    45nm will probably be the time when quadcores start becoming mainstream, and the cheapest 45nm quadcore will initially cost somewhere around $266.

    That’s a bit too expensive to be a mainstream chip, but given Intel’s pricing history, one could expect the price of such a chip to dip below $200 towards the end of 2008, when they have a lot of 45nm capacity.

    How excited should you get about all this? Well, we don’t expect Penryn to be dramatically better than Conroe, maybe 10-20% better mostly due to increased clock speeds.

    One ought to keep in mind that Nehalem, with a new socket and all that that entails, is supposed to be out at the end of 2008.

    One also ought to keep in mind that current mobos may not be able to run Penryn and that the first boards that definitely should, the Bearlake series, won’t be out until Q3.

    Looks like a nice-to-have, not a must-have.


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