OVER THE PAST few days it appears as if the online retailers have gotten their act together and jointly decided to post pricing of motherboard for Intel’s upcoming Sandy Bridge processors. So far we’ve spotted boards on sale from Asus, Biostar, Gigabyte, Intel itself and MSI in various parts of the world, although some of the prices seem to be, shall we say a little bit on the high side.
Either which way, there seems to be a price premium on the new boards, take for example the Intel DH67BL which is set to replace the DH55TC, the price premium is between $20-30. Now we wouldn’t read too much into this, as it’s still very early days, but the same seems to hold true across the board, as in Europe a high-end board like Asus’ Maximus IV Extreme is about €30-40 more than the Maximus III Extreme. However, we’ve also found retailers with the same pricing for the various “replacement” models which suggests that prices will even out once the Sandy Bridge platform launches.
We’re not going to compile a price list here, as there are far too many boards to list, but an easy way to find some board pricing is to hit up Google shopping and search for either Intel P67 or H67. We also suggest hitting up your local price comparison engine, as at least in parts of Europe, this is a sure fire way if finding some board pricing. We’ve also heard reports of boards already being on sale in various parts of the world, but we have as yet to confirm this by going to a shop and asking for boards ourselves.
For now the cheapest boards are listed for just under $100, or around €80 in Europe, but we’re still waiting to see pricing from the budget players in the market. That kind of money will buy you a basic H67 board, but if you’d rather have a P67 board it looks like you’ll have to shell out another $30 or so in the US, while in Europe you need to find the same amount, but in Euros to get your hands on a P67 board. The most expensive boards from what we know are legit retailers seem to end up around the $300 mark, or €250-300 in Europe, although we couldn’t track down quite the same models in both markets.
From what we know from the detailed information already shared by the motherboard manufacturers, some of the more basic models aren’t all too exciting in terms of features, but at least even the most basic H67 boards will have plenty of display connectivity options. Oddly enough the price difference between the most basic models and the model one step up appears to be very small to non-existent in many cases, so it might be wise to spend some time shopping around if you’re planning on upgrading to Intel’s Sandy Bridge platform.
Some of the online retailers, mostly companies that we haven’t heard of before claim to have stock of certain boards. Not that being able to get your hands on a board nearly a month before the launch of the processors is going to do you much good. However, if you’re one of those people that has to be first and have deep pockets, then it’s possible to get your hands on a CPU early, at least if you don’t mind betting on eBay. We found a listing of a Core i7 2600K for the bargain price of $699.99 which is, as far as we’re aware, a fair bit higher than these things are expected to retail for. The seller has no less than eight engineering samples on sale and they are apparently shipping from Taiwan. Hitting up the local auction site in Taiwan reveals a much better deal where someone is selling the same model for the equivalent of $491.
We can’t imagine Intel being big fans of having engineering samples on sale ahead of the launch, as anyone buying one of these CPUs and one of what appears to be readily available boards could pretty much ruin things when it comes to NDA’s and trying to keep things quiet ahead of the launch. Still, there’s only so much that can be done to keep things under lock and key when you’re launching an entirely new platform where you have to hand out samples to your partners. At least the good news is that there shouldn’t be any shortage of boards in time for the actual launch on the 5th of January.S|A
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