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Intel lines up 2500k/2600k price cuts to welcome FX

With sites like TechEye reporting on leaked pricing for the upcoming AMD Bulldozer parts, it seems that Intel is keen to hang onto the enthusiast market space. KitGuru ponders Intel’s next move.

Intel has been in a privileged position for some time. With AMD unable to exert any competitive pressure on processors over the £145 it is charging for the Phenom II X6 1100T, Intel has been able to leave the Core i5 2500k and Core i7 2600k relatively untouched at £165 and £235, respectively, to UK punters.

With initial batches, there can be process issues. However, the longer a production line runs – the greater the efficiency – and the higher you’d expect the yield of ‘perfect chips’ to be. That means you can end up with more working CPUs per wafer. That means you are more profitable.

With the new Bulldozer parts – especially the FX – AMD has the chance to alter that dynamic. By putting competitive parts into the market, above the X6 1100T, everyone’s life gets better.

Unsurprisingly, given Paul Otellini’s love of the music, the Intel pricing machine seems to subscribe to the Bob Marley theory of ‘kill it before it grows’.

Shipping with 8 cores at 3.6GHz, it seems that AMD was aiming to position the new FX processor $15 under the price of Intel’s flagship 2600k. That’s around £10. Which would mean around £220 from UK stores.

So what kind of price cut should we expect from Intel?

If they want to appear completely relaxed and un-stressed about the arrival of the Bulldozer chip, then we reckon they might get away with 10%.

That would put the 2500k at £144 and the 2600k at £207.

If Intel does drop by just 10%, then it will mean the AMD FX processor might need to hit £199 inc vat from UK stores to win.

If it had come sooner, then they could have charged more. But will Intel's price drop work for or against AMD?

KitGuru says: Will Intel’s move to pressure AMD actually end up giving the Texan outfit the most attractive price possible and boost sales? Would be an interesting back-fire.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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