The fixed, B3 versions of the current Phenoms are supposed to out sometime in April.
Presumably, AMD will try to make more than a relative handful of these once they’re out.
Just when you think AMD can breathe easily, though, Intel will follow with price cuts April 20.
The beloved Q6600 2.4GHz will go from $270 to $229. The 2.66GHz Q6700 will go from $527 to $270.
Intel had originally planned to phase 65nm quads quickly. This has changed; the 65nm chips are going to be around awhile, and they’ll be used to keep AMD’s prices down.
Since the venerable Q6600 will still beat the 2.4GHz Phenom 9750 at just about everything, we don’t think AMD will be able to sell a large number of 2.4GHz Phenoms at a price anything like $229.
We would expect the U.S. street price of the Phenom 9750 to be a bit less than $200 a little before or after the Intel price cut, $199 seems likely.
Since we doubt AMD is going to be make a lot of these for a little while, we expect that price will hold so long as there are relatively few available.
Once AMD starts pumping out serious numbers of these chips, though, it will become a buyer’s market, and if the historical one-third discount rule still holds sway, we think the price will slide to a figure closer to $150.
That might not sound too terrible for AMD, but keep in mind that getting $150 for a quad isn’t much better than getting $75 for a dually.
Price drops on the quad Phenoms will have a cascading effect, which means tricores will probably end up costing somewhere around $120.
Should AMD manage to get a 2.6GHz Phenom out, the price of the Q6700 should pin the price of the 2.6 to around $180-200.
When Intel winds up 65nm production, they’ll be able to easily slide in their low-end Penryn quads into the $229/$270 price slots.
We’ve said it often before, but this is why technology superiority is important. Bragging rights are nice, but when you have that plus the vast majority of production capacity, you turn your competitor into a pricing puppet that you can twist and turn as you like with your low-end models while keeping prices nice and high with everything else.
It’s very unlikely Intel will push the quads below these price points soon, maybe we’ll see a $199 Q9300 for Christmas season, but the April 20 price cuts should be sufficient to keep AMD gasping for cash.