Intel’s Core 2 Duo Finds a Mobile Match

The other shoe dropped in Intel’s rollout of Core 2 Duo, its most powerful client processor.

Last month, Core 2 Duo debuted for desktop systems.

Today, it announced notebooks based on “Merom,” the mobile version of Core 2 Duo,by several vendors.

In all, Intel  said over 200 mobile designs from various PC makers and system integrators will incorporate Core 2 Duo this year.

Competitor AMD has made serious inroads in the market for servers long dominated by Intel. But the number two x86 chip supplier has been less successful on the desktop and mobile side, particularly with systems designed for corporate or enterprise customers.

Analyst J. Gerry Purdy, vice president of research firm Frost & Sullivan said Core 2 Duo further cements Intel’s position in some areas, but AMD  is a viable competitor.

“Both companies have different production cycles so when one is ready to launch a new processor it’s their turn to announce their advantages,” Purdy, told

“You just saw AMD win a major contract from Dell  and they’re doing well in the consumer space. As AMD tries to move more into the enterprise it will be harder to gain share. Mobile is very important to Intel; they get more revenue per silicon wafer than they do from desktop.”

Dell announced availability of Core 2 Duo mobile processors on all XPS mobile systems, Dell Precision mobile workstations, as well as some of its Inspiron and Latitude notebooks. Customers will be able to configure the Inspiron E1505 and E1405 with Intel Core 2 Duo mobile processors later this week, and the Latitude D820, D620, and D520 beginning next week.

Dell’s new mobile pricing ranges from $1,124 for an Inspiron E1705, to $1,849 for the Dell Precision M65, and $3,500 for the XPS M2010 and are available in a variety of custom configurations.

Toshiba Digital Products division is using the Core 2 Duo to bring out an enhanced version of Qosmio, its digital entertainment notebook. The Qosmio G35-AV660 includes an HD DVD-ROM for viewing high-definition movies.

The notebook system, priced at $3,499.99, also includes two 5400 RPM serial ATA 120GB hard drives for storage of TV programs, music and other files as well as 2048MB DDR2 memory.

Gateway said its M255-E, M285-E, M465-E and M685-E professional series notebooks includes the Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 (1.83GHz, 2MB L2 cache), T7200 (2.00GHz, 4MB L2 cache) and T7400 (2.16GHz, 4MB L2 cache) processors. The notebooks are available beginning Aug. 31.

While the faster speeds and energy savings features of Core 2 Duo are always important to notebook buyers, Purdy said the biggest change coming to both mobile and desktop computer users near term isn’t the latest chip, but Microsoft’s long-awaited Vista operating system.

“Vista is the biggest fundamental change on the horizon,” said Purdy.

But Vista will also take advantage of the performance improvements in Core 2 Duo as well as faster processors from AMD.

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