The PC Gamer reader mail bag - well, I wish it was still a bag, like the kind rock stars used to get from their fans and People magazine would photograph them waist-deep in letters addressed by hand and covered in stickers and lipstick prints - is still overflowing with anxious letters from readers who are feeling a little, you know, inadequate in the processor department. Some of them want to know if they should go from AMD to Intel or Intel to AMD; some want to know if they should go from dual-core to quad-core; and in extreme cases, some want to know if they should go from single-core to multi-core.
The answer is usually tricky, as it depends on what you use your PC for (I’m assuming gaming, with maybe some audio and video flirtation on the side), what kind of videocard you have, etc. But Intel’s recent price cuts - these were major cuts - have made things a lot simpler for the time being.
Here are some of the official prices, which are based on 1,000 unit quantities for largepolygamist families. Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q6700 plummeted from $530 down to $266, and the Core 2 Quad Q6600 dipped down to $224 from $266. The dual-core E6850 went down to $183 from $266.
You can expect to pay a bit more at retail; my personal favorite, for example, the lovely and cosmopolitan Q6700, is going for $280 atNewegg, shipped.
These prices ought to keep Intel in a holding pattern for a while, and there aren’t any murmurs about major price cuts from AMD yet, so if you’ve been waiting to upgrade your processor or go multi-core, now’s the time.
May 12, 2008