I know that Intel has been getting a lot of flack during their new platform launch, the same Alderwood chipset and Socket 775 release we covered, and most it is deserved in this case. However, one thing that can be said that Intel did correctly, was getting the right processor releases into the channel.
Currently, you can find these processors for sale in the channel, just 5 days after the weekend release of the platform:
- Intel 550 @ 3.4 GHz ~ $460
- Intel 540 @ 3.2 GHz ~ $310
- Intel 530 @ 3.0 GHz ~ $240
- Intel 520 @ 2.8 GHz ~ $200
Whatever you think about how the new socket and features perform, Intel made the right choice in releasing a wide variety of these chips into the channel, not just keeping it with the top tier processors like the 550 and 560. AMD did just that with their Socket 939 launch (which we covered here) keeping the new socket 939 processors in the $500 range and above. Even nearly a month after launch, the Athlon 64 3500+ is going to cost you $500, the Athlon 64 3800+ is going for $720 or so and the Athlon FX-53 is going for over $820! By keeping the new socket pricing as high as they are, AMD is really crippling the ability they have to gain significant market share with their “permanent” socket solution.
Also, you’ll notice that there are many more Socket 775 motherboards currently available (seen here) and even though a large part of them are Intel brand boards, the fact remains that the essentials are there and in place. Abit’s 915P motherboard is selling for as low as $145 and Intel’s own 915P board is going for as low as $134. The behemoth that we reviewed the new platform on, the Intel 925X motherboard, sells for $230+.
All of this is not to say that you should rush out and buy the new Intel release, but instead that Intel started in the right direction in order to gain acceptance with the DIY market — offer us cheaper, slower parts that let us kick up the speed in our own way — overclocking.