Weâ€™re now a few days into the second quarter of the year and Intelâ€™s quad-core Core 2 Quad â€˜Yorkfieldâ€™ processors are still not widely available.
This is despite the fact that the company announced at CES that its 45nm quad-core desktop processors would be delivered to market by the end of the first quarter.
When we spoke to Intelâ€™s representatives out in Shanghai, we were told to â€œcheck our local online retailer.â€ Heading over to both Scan and Overclockers UK reveals that the Core 2 Quad Q9300 (2.5GHz, 6MB L2 cache) is availableâ€”in both retail and OEM packaging.
The Q9450 (2.66GHz, 12MB L2 cache) is only available from OcUKâ€”and conspicuously not in retail formâ€”with â€œ10+â€ listed in stock at the time of publication. Meanwhile, the faster Q9550 (2.83GHz, 12MB L2 cache) is not available at either retailer â€“ we had a look around a few other retailers, but they had even less stock (of the cheaper models) than Scan and Overclockers UK.
Demand for these products is exceedingly high, weâ€™re told, and Intel is aware of the problems with availability of its desktop chips. Indeed, availability of the 45nm Harpertown-based Xeon chips looks to be pretty good, although interestingly the 2.5GHz Xeon 5320 parts are not available. The Xeon 5410 and 5430 (2.33GHz and 2.67GHz) are available, as are the 2.83GHz and 3.00GHz 5440 and 5450 chips.
This suggests that there arenâ€™t issues with the yield, but Intel is taking care of the more lucrative server market first. After all, the power savings as a result of moving an entire data centre to 45nm processors would be significant. The question remains then, when will we see Intelâ€™s quad-core 45nm processors widely available on the market?
Intel is apparently working to free up some fab space to deliver 45nm desktop quad-core processors to the market, but it may take daysâ€”or even weeksâ€”for that to filter out onto the market.