While it's tempting to make a chip-related pun, I'll just go ahead and say that Intel [NASDAQ:INTC] announced a group of new processors this holiday week that should compete well with AMD's [NYSE:AMD] recently-revealed Phenom chips. The most interesting was a new, smaller-sized quad-core chip that is cheaper than expected.
The new, smaller 45nm Core 2 Quad, with four processor cores running at 2.33GHz, will be sporting 4MB of level 2 cache and a 1.33GHz front side bus. It'll apparently be pretty affordable at around $230, and goes by the model name Q8200.
However, that bargain price comes at a cost: the new chip doesn't support the Virtualization Technology found on the last two generations of Core 2 Quad processors, and doesn't have Intel's Trusted Execution Technology either. And while that probably won't hurt performance much -- the chip can still run other virtualization programs, for example -- it's always better to have that kind of functionality baked into a device than added third-party.
There's also a new Celeron on the way: the dual-core E5200, which will run at 2.5GHz with 2MB of L2 cache and an 800MHz front side bus. This chip is a real value proposition at only $53, and should provide a good upgrade-alternative to Intel's Allendale Core 2 Duo that is one pricepoint above it, and running at 2.4GHz.