Intel to launch next-gen desktop processor Conroe on 23 July

It appears that Intel will be introducing its new Desktop Core 2 Duo E6000 series earlier than previously expected. While industry sources hinted to a September launch date at the beginning of this year, slides obtained by enthusiast website HKEPC Hardware indicate that the desktop processor, formerly code-named Conroe, will make its debut on 23 July.

There are no changes to the lineup and pricing we reported earlier, the slides however do provide a sequence number for Intel's Core 2 Extreme for the very first time. The chip will carry the designation "X6800" and will be priced at $999. Surprisingly, the slide indicates a clock speed of only 2.93 GHz for the chip - in contrast to the 3.33 GHz that was previously rumored - and a 1066 MHz front side bus - instead of a 1333 MHz version that is supported by the processor's next generation chipset and also by the chip's sister model, the server processor "Woodcrest" (Xeon 5100 series).

As the slides appear to originate from Intel's regular vendor briefings, the information provided by HKEPC Hardware is credible - and would indicate that Intel's performance advantage over AMD - at least on the high end - may not be as significant as generally expected.