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Thursday, July 13, 2006, 04:00 pm PT (07:00 pm ET)

Intel to drop "Conroe" embargo this Friday

Intel Corp. on Friday will release more details on its long awaited Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme desktop processors, formerly code-named "Conroe," according to DailyTech.

The chips made a public appearance earlier this year at the Spring Intel Developer Forum, where they were shown beating out some of the fastest offerings from rival AMD, including the high end Athlon 64 X2 and gaming-oriented Athlon 64 FX.

With the new Core 2 processors, the world's largest chip maker is backing away from the "megahertz war," and is instead focusing on chips with more instructions per clock cycle and improved power efficiency.

Both Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme processors will sport a plethora of new features, including Intel Wide Dynamic Execution, Intel Smart Memory Access, Intel Advanced Smart Cache and Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost.

"While the performance NDA lifts later tonight, availability isn’t expected until July 23rd, 2006," according to DailyTech "Intel will officially announce availability on July 27, 2006."

A 2.93GHz Core 2 Extreme (Conroe) with a 4MB L2 cache and 1066MHz front-side bus (FSB) will reportedly retail for around $1000, or about $150 more than a 3.0GHz Xeon 5160 (Woodcrest), which features a 4MB L2 cache and 1333MHz FSB.

Intel will also offer Core 2 Duo chips at 2.67GHz ($530), 2.4GHz ($316), 2.13GHz ($224) and 1.86GHz ($183).

Later this year, the chip maker will roll out a 3.2GHz Core 2 Extreme processor. It will follow up early next year with and a quad-core Core 2 Extreme (Kentsfield).

Core 2 Duo chips are expected to make their way into Apple's Mac product line slightly later this year.