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Intel Unveils Low-Power Desktop Quad-Core Chips

The three Core 2 processors use almost a third less power than prior versions of the chips.
Intel has introduced three Core 2 quad-core processors that use almost a third less power than similar older chips, making the new products a better option for manufacturers looking to build all-in-one desktops and other systems where cooling is a challenge.

The new "s" series chips include the Q9550s, the Q9400s, and the Q8200s. All three have a 1,333-MHz front-side bus, but differ in clock speed and the size of the L2 cache. The Q9550s runs at 2.83 GHz and has 12 MB of cache, the Q9400s runs at 2.66 GHz with 6 MB, and the Q8200s runs at 2.33 GHz with 4 MB. Pricing in batches of 1,000 units is $369, $320, and $245.

The latest products consume a maximum of 65 watts of power, compared with 95 watts for the similar older line of processors that have the same model numbers, but without the "s" at the end. Those chips cost from $80 to $100 less than the new products.

The lower-power versions are made for desktops where cooler processors are needed because of less space. Examples of such systems are the all-in-one desktops that include computer and monitor in one case, such as the Apple iMac, the Dell XPS One, and the Hewlett-Packard TouchSmart.

Intel launched the latest chips on Monday, a day after releasing a revised price list that slashed the price of some quad-core desktop and Xeon server chips by as much as 40%.

The price cuts come as PC manufacturers struggle in the economic downturn that has led to less spending by consumers and businesses.