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Dispelled Intel rumor may disappoint gamers

Prices for Intel's Bloomfield chips may disappoint after rumors purported they'd be far less expensive than billed

Intel announced prices for some of its latest, most powerful chips that might disappoint digital gaming enthusiasts because they’re more expensive than reports had speculated.

The latest Intel processors for gamers, the Intel Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core processors for desktop PCs that run at 3.2GHz will cost US$1,499 each in lots of 1000 processors, with a slightly different version for US$1,399. Another version of the chip that runs at 3.0GHz will cost US$999 in the same amounts, according to Intel’s latest price list.

Gamer blogs and some news reports had speculated the new 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core might come out priced at around US$999, far less than Intel actually announced.

Each of the new chips comes with four calculating engines on board for more realistic 3D images and ultra-fast gaming speeds, according to Intel.

Several gaming PCs have already been designed around the chip family, including Velocity Micro’s Raptor Signature Edition for around US$5,995, which will ship next month and Gateway’s FX541XG for around US$2,707.99, which starts shipping this week.

The Core 2 Extreme Quad-Core chips had been code-named Bloomfield.

One big surprise on Intel’s latest pricing list, which is dated July 15, is the lack of price declines on desktop PC processors. The list actually shows no price declines on any processors, but it in desktop PC microprocessors, there have only been rare occasions when prices don’t decline. One reason prices go down is because the company needs to clear out older technology chips as it creates newer products. Another reason is because Intel continually advances its chip-making technology to gain greater efficiencies, which it can pass on to customers with lower prices.

A price war with rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) over the past few years has helped push microprocessor prices generally lower. Microprocessors made for laptop PCs have held up better in price because the laptop PC market has been growing at a breakneck pace. Desktop microprocessor prices, have nearly always fallen due to lackluster demand and the price war.

But recently, desktop chip prices have stabilized.

Intel and market researcher Gartner both noted that corporations have been buying more desktop PCs recently, and Intel also said demand has been strong in emerging markets.