Intel ups speed with two new desktop processors

New dual-core Core i3, Pentium chips run at clock speeds of 3.33GHz

Intel has added speed to its low-end processors, introducing new low-end Pentium and Core i3 processors running at the fastest clock speeds the company has put on its consumer microprocessors.

The company's new dual-core Core i3-560M and Pentium E6800 processors run at clock speeds of 3.33GHz, according to an Intel processor price list issued on Sunday.

That is the same clock speed as Intel's Core i7-980X chip for enthusiast PCs, which is considered one of Intel's fastest desktop processors. However, the six-core Core i7-980X chip has more cache, cores and is made using an advanced manufacturing process.

The Core i3 and Pentium chips usually go into low-end PCs, but the faster clock speed could play a role in helping them outperform other chips belonging to the same family and generation. The Core i3 chip includes 4MB of cache and is priced at US$138 in units of 1,000, while the Pentium E6800 includes 2MB of cache is priced at $86. The Core i3 processor is made using the new 32-nanometer process, while the Pentium is made using the 45-nm process.

But faster desktop and laptop processors are on their way, with PCs based on the next-generation Sandy Bridge processors expected to hit shelves in the first half next year. Intel will shed more light on Sandy Bridge architecture at the upcoming Intel Developer Forum, which will be held in San Francisco between Sept. 13 and 15.

According to the price list, Intel also started shipping the Pentium E5700 dual-core chip for desktops, which runs at 3.0GHz, and is priced at $75. The company also cut the price of a high-end Core i7-950 processor by 48 percent to $294. The processor is now the same price as the faster Core i7-960 processor, which runs at 3.2GHz.

The new chips and price cut come after Intel on Friday lowered its revenue forecast for the fiscal third quarter of 2010, citing lower-than-expected demand for consumer PCs in mature markets.

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