Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

Summary: While it's fun to benchmark the latest Intel "Extreme" processor and hear about the performance tweaks that have been implemented over the previous iteration, the fact is that most buyers can't afford to drop $1,000 on a CPU, or even $200-$300 for its still-powerful but more affordable siblings.

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While it's fun to benchmark the latest Intel "Extreme" processor and hear about the performance tweaks that have been implemented over the previous iteration, the fact is that most buyers can't afford to drop $1,000 on a CPU, or even $200-$300 for its still-powerful but more affordable siblings. Even Intel apparently is aware that people are still satisfied with a Pentium dual-core processor instead of a Core i5; according to Fudzilla, Intel projects that Pentiums not only will outsell Core i3s, i5s, and i7s this first quarter of 2010, but also Core 2 Duos and Core 2 Quads. In other words, the company's humbler offerings will outpace all of the other boxed Intel CPUs, including the few bargain-priced (and -powered) Celerons that will still be available.

We can all pretty much guess why this is the case. While the latest games and certain applications like Adobe Photoshop or Premiere Pro can make use of some of that extra processing horsepower, most people are using Microsoft Office, surfing the Web, and maybe doing their taxes on their PCs. They can run multiple apps like these at the same time and use Windows 7 with a Pentium-based PC. Most users don't need Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost technologies, and certainly won't pay for them with the economy still in flux.

In case you're curious, here's the approximate breakdown in terms of projected sales of Intel's other boxed processors: Celeron (both single and dual core), 11%; Core 2 Duo, 12%; Core 2 Quad, 7%; Core i3, 5%; Core i5, 5%; Core i7, 2%; and the forthcoming Core i9, 4%. If you plan on doing an Intel-based processor upgrade soon, let us know in the TalkBack section which CPU you're choosing.

Topics: Hardware, Intel, Processors

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25 comments
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  • And why not?

    The Pentium dual cores are fine for inexpensive systems used to run MS Office, Quickbooks, and equivilent software.

    My wife's P4 Dual Core does a [b]much[/b] better job of running her software then it did on her P4.

    For me a Core 2 Quad is a better choice in reference to the software I run.
    John Zern
  • MyUpgrade Plan

    I'm planning an outbuild and a replacement.

    1. Outbuild: new motherboard (old one broken) and case to reparent OEM PC components (CPU, disks, graphics, optical drives) and add more disks to make a file server.

    2. Replacement: waiting until 2011 to see (hopefully) mainstream adoption of USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs and cheaper SSD's.

    Now and again I can use i7 quad core and 8GB RAM (Fritz chess program multiprocessor version and large panoramas) ... but that's a luxury.

    I'm concentrating on my data strategy and looking at the ASUS U36S for the server (to blend in in the old components with the new standards) ... and a DELL 430 (UK model #) with an added SSD likely to give the most responsiveness boost next year.
    jacksonjohn
  • Upgrade with i5s

    I am going to be replacing all my office pcs shortly with i5 based Dell systems. The reason is I'm moving to Windows 7 and also looking for these machines to last about 5 years with new software in the future. The i5 will give me the capabilities to integrate newer 64 bit software such as Office 2010 as it comes out. Plus give more horsepower for new CRM and accounting package next year.
    gsmall68@...
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    I run an antique Dell 720 XPS (QX6700 @ 3.2GHz), upgraded with 8GB RAM, nVidia 9800 video and a couple faster hard drives. Currently running Windows 7 x64.

    Windows Experience Index is 7.4 (for whatever that's worth) and application performance is great. I had been considering going to a faster system, but doubt that there is suffieicnt reason to do so, for another year or two, at least.

    So that's a 3 year old computer that still falls in the upper 20% of performance for all current copmputers. Gamers and folks who have to have the latest are likely to be the only ones pushing the i9 sales, and even i7's have yett to become a really common corporate sight.
    chasmodai
    • You say that now

      But that chip was cutting edge 3 years ago. That was probably the price equivalent of an i7 or i9 now.
      stano360
  • Most games do not utilize all those cores

    I always thought it was gamers that wanted cutting edge CPUs (and pushed the market) but that was back when Ghz was king.

    Most games do not take advantage of 3 or 4 cores not to even get into 7 cores.

    For gamers speed is still king and a fast 2 core computer will give better game results than a slower 7 core every day.
    John238
    • Old games...

      Older games definately were single thread applications. Newer gaming requires many cores. Especially when you throw in higher sound abilities, physics and other candies. 4 core will soon be the minimum.
      Narg
    • only partially true

      the best way to find out for real is to run benchmarks, and benchmarks show new-gen processors beating older ones inspite of clockrate or cores. They're just smarter in the way things are handled. Now if you just want cheap performance AMD is currently king, and probably will be for a while. Intel has realized the drive for speed is gone for the common user. Your top end gaming machine will still run the newest games pretty decently. Intel is focusing on power consumption, goin "green", and Intel knows that high end gamers will buy Core i7 Extremes only cause they're slightly faster. Also desktop sales have dropped, for mobile computing low power consumption is a requirement regardless of if your running a Core i7 or an Atom.

      A big reason for the cost difference probably has to do with the use of their high-k metal-gate process (or whatever it's called) and cranking out Pentiums on old factories allows them to further recoup their investment while they still remain CPU king. As much as I love Intel products I would probably go with AMD right now if I built a gaming desktop. Though the probably of me owning a desktop over a laptop is fairly low right now as I've still to play through all the games I wanted to play five years ago and they run fine on my laptop.
      shadfurman
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    it is the price of those cpu's
    intel get real in this economy about your prices.
    Also software vendors are still draging thier feet on 64 byte computing - especialy games.
    MS isnt doing well there either wich is funny since they promote 54 byte computing and give the xbox the game long before the pc withch is 45 percent of us on computer - 64 byte.
    stdo57@...
  • And why not? Low end systems can rock

    First of all, it's my understanding that the cores of the "Pentium Dual Core" Exxxx's are in fact the silicon from Core 2 Duo's with reduced cache; Someone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this.

    I recently built a system for someone using an E6300 Wolfdale CPU ($80). I used an ECS G31T-M motherboard (under $50)(discontinued, but the Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L is very similar and also under $50).

    The only reason I used the E6300 rather than the E5300 was to make sure that "virtualization technology" was supported. The boxed E5300, which I would otherwise have used, ships with different parts (different sSpec's) in different boxes, some of which have VT and some don't, so you don't know for sure what you are getting. All E6300's have VT.

    Although the G31 has chipset video, a dedicated ATI Radeon HD3650 512MB video card ($15 -- FIFTEEN DOLLARS (after rebate) --) was added to give DVI and HDMI (with HDCP) output and to unload the video bandwidth from the memory system.

    It has 4GB of memory and is running Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit.

    Anyway, this very low end system system really kicks ass. This was for someone who only needed an "office Applications" system, but it rocks. My own system is Core i7, and I cannot tell the difference between the two systems in most of the stuff that I do.

    It's hard to justify spending $300 to $350 for a motherboard and CPU for most people when a $130 total for both will do the job so well.
    Watzman@...
  • I'd go AMD...

    If I had to save money, instead of the outdated Pentium platform, I'd choose a newer AMD chip. It'd probably be cheaper too.
    Narg
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    IF I were to upgrade my E6850 it would be with an E8700
    rocketman67
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    core 2 quad 3.0ghz here.that one cost enough as is.
    charlieg1
  • I chose Core i7 for my new Dell ...

    ... but then I knew that I was going for OVERKILL because I am an IT professional whose last Dell ran well for six years before becoming unreliable and only BARELY capable of running Vista. I expect to get six years or more from my Core i7 running Windows 7 Ultimate.

    For most consumers, I am sure that Pentium dual-cores will be fine. They will be able to run Office 2010 and probably even Windows 8. But 3-years from now, they are likely to be LAME and unable to run the latest software.

    That may not matter if they don't upgrade their software often but, without a lot of RAM and disk space now, and a decent tool like DiskKeeper, they will not be happy with their Pentium Dual Core system five years from now.
    M Wagner
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    Note, the headline says BOXED Pentium CPUs, not CPUs sold to OEMs. These CPUs are being bought by extremely price-conscious folks which enough IT knowledge not to be afraid to "roll their own" and still think that can save a few bucks this way. (I've never been able to convince myself that building your own system saves you a penny!)
    M Wagner
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    Actually Windows 7 in the basic 32 bit version is quite good. For the average user who does not wish to invest huge bucks I suggest skipping a Core 7i CPU. I advise they get the better operating system and for now not worry about upgrading their CPU. With the refinements to networking that Windows 7 offers I feel strongly that it would be a better investment. It is of course a balancing act in that 64 bit architecture is definitely becoming main-stream. But let us not try to do everything at once with funds so tight.
    frj111@...
  • I think the transition will be...

    due to (finally) industry wide acceptance of 64bit. There really is not place left to put the clicks for general computing and less voice or some kind of image processing becomes standard in the next decade. The only reason people, who don't need performance, will drop their old CPUs is because all the software they need to run is 64bit. But who knows, the way virtualization is going... it might not even matter that much by then. Then the only thing will be if new hardware is cheap enough to make the cost difference negligible. I think its likely Intel may license out its standard x86 core for use in low end applications, especially once the power consumption of the Atom can compete with ARM. In 20 years I see x86 computing being just as standard as ARM in devices such as phones, TVs, printers, routers, etc.
    shadfurman
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    My Core 2 Duo 8400 with an Intel motherboard is running Windows 7 just fine. I'd love to upgrade to an i5 but that means besides the new processor a new motherboard and new DDR3 memory. I also don't see any software that I use that will take advantage of the new features. Since I recently took a pay reduction at work, my upgrade plans are on indefinite hold. If something happens to my main system I still have a dual core notebook and two AMD dual core systems so I'm not going to be without a computer any time soon!
    jrbales@...
  • RE: Intel will sell as many boxed Pentium CPUs as Core-based processors in Q1 2010

    Unsure where they will find Pentium [and Celeron!] systems. Most of the online store sites for manufacturers aren't showing any or very few of them. Look in the stores. They are almost all Core2s and Core-i models.

    I tell people that if they can afford it, not to buy anything with the word Pentium or Celeron in it. Old technology and slow.
    Gis Bun
  • My latest system

    Intel E3200 (Core 2 based Celeron) and MSI G31TM-P21 motherboard,
    $30 after rebate at Fry's Electronics. Expect it to over-clock 30-40%
    without really trying. How can you go wrong at that price?
    philip.robar@...