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Price/Performance Analysis: AMD increases pressure on Intel

Prices as of Dec. 22: AMD's sort-of-quad-core for $380

On the heels of AMD's new products, prices of its preceding processors continue to drop. It really has been quite an interesting trend to watch. This week, with the exception of the 4200+ (the only AMD processor to increase in price this week), every single processor set a new record low in our 12-week-long series of data. The FX-62 saw the biggest decrease, marking an 8%, $55 drop in average e-tail price over last week, the biggest decrease for the FX-62 that we've recorded. With a price of around $650, the CPU is heading into a territory that we expect to see for the essentially identical X2 5600+ processor.

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However, perhaps most significant is the 3800+, which was the only processor in our entire set of data to still hold on to our original recorded price on October 6 as the lowest price. Today, though, finally marked a new record low for the 3800+ after an 8%, $14 decrease from last week's $166 to $152. Prices most of the other processors continue to fall.

The only record low seen on Intel's side this week is the Pentium D 940 after a minimal decrease, again just riding the coattails of last week's record low. Another major decrease, though not setting a new record, is the QX6700. After three weeks of price increases, it fell this week to mark a 9%, $104 decrease, the biggest week-to-week drop we've seen for the processor.

Other than that, though, Intel's trend this week was a bump in prices. Both Extreme Editions, the D960, and the D950 saw substantial price increases. The D950 actually marked the largest relative price change, with a 16% increase, which also set a new record high for our records for the D950's average price. Intel's volume Core 2 Duo series processors have settled in a very stable price range with virtually no changes at all.