Intel Sandy Bridge processor prices cut ahead of next-gen release

Good-bye, Sandy; hello, Ivy.

Intel, the supplier of high-performance processors used in sleek and expensive ultrabooks, will cue a price cut on its Sandy Bridge chips soon to pave the way for the more powerful Ivy Bridge model.

Intel Sandy Bridge processor prices cut ahead of next-gen release

According to IT news site DigiTimes, the price drop won’t be dramatic – just 10-15 percent off i3 and i5 processors. Anonymous insiders told the outlet that the move will help clear the way for Ivy Bridge-powered ultrabooks slated to release April 2012, warning that the Santa Clara corporation could face a rough patch if the move doesn’t go smoothly:

Next-generation 22nm Ivy Bridge-based processors including Core i5-3450, Core i7-3370, are expected to be priced between $184-$332, only $10-$15 more expensive than some of Intel’s existing CPU models. If the company cannot quickly digest its remaining Sandy Bridge inventory, it could create issues during the transition to the newer platform.

Exactly what will Ivy Bridge offer prospective buyers? Intel CEO Paul Otellini said in September that it will boost ultrabook power efficiency by 50 percent, adding that its less interestingly named successor Haswell will provide “all-day usage and 10 days of standby” when it debuts in 2013.

Manufacturer Acer recently revealed it would drop the price of its Aspire S3 ultrabook by $100-$200 next year, bringing it into the still-costly $800-$900 range. The model’s price will fall to $499 in 2013, said Jim Wong, Acer president.