Guys and Gals
You may or may not be aware that Intel are launching a new batch of processors in January 2008. These processors in many instances are direct replacements for the existing range of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors but with three main advantages over the existing processors.
1. The new processors are using a new 45nm manufacturing process. What this means to you the consumer is they'll usually run cooler and as a result have more overclocking capability. Now even if you say "I'll never overclock so it won't effect me" you're right...but the retailers and resellers and Intel know it'll effect their sales of the 'old' product so they will be looking to move as much of the existing product through before the new chips are launched. This could well mean heavy discounting immediately after Crimbo before the new processors are launched. Keep this in mind before buying any machines....by the end of January you may well find some real bargains.
2. The new processors have higher cache built in, in many instances this doesn't make a huge difference but reviews of the QX9650 (new 45nm) against the QX6850 (old 65nm) show about a 3-12% speed improvement depending on what you're doing. In certain applications like converting videos the new processor has a better instruction set and shows substantial speed improvement.
3. Finally the new processors seem to be substantially more energy efficient. In some instances the new QX9650 (which is a Quad core) have been shown to be even more energy efficient then existing Core 2 Duo (i.e. only Dual core) processors.
All of these factors could well mean that in January the existing Intel Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors and machines they're based on will almost overnight become less in demand....and as a result it's almost certain prices will soften and discounts are possible. Of course Intel may deliberately limit supplies of the new processors for a while meaning everything I've written above is nonsense......but hopefully this information will allow you to make your own mind up.
List of processors getting launched next year.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_future_Intel_Core_2_microprocessors
Have fun and save a few quid. :santa: