Intel will go back to the old days of pricing its flagship chips at $999 apiece when ordered in bulk, thousand-piece quantities, says a Friday report that cites mainboard manufacturers as its sources. The move is believed to have been made in order to speed up the adoption of quad-core CPUs, and pertains specifically to the chipmaker's upcoming 3.2GHz Extreme-series desktop Nehalem processors nicknamed Bloomfield.
The current top-of-the-range offering from Intel, the 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme QX9770, is based on the earlier Penryn-era Yorkfield architecture with 12MB of Level 2 cache and is $500 more expensive in the same bulk quantities. The reports also have Intel's 2.93GHz version of the chip priced at $562, with a volume 2.66GHz version costing $284. All models will be based in X58 motherboards, which bring new dual and triple channel DDR3 support and can accomodoate either dual PCIe 2.0 X16 or Quad PCIe 2.0 X8.