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Intel is releasing a SKU of its dual-core Xeon 5000 series priced at $180 for sale exclusively by the channel as it makes the 5000 lineup, code-named Dempsey, its price play.

The dual-core Xeon 5030 processor, based on the chip maker’s new core microarchitecture, will be available exclusively through Intel’s channel of system builders and white box builders, to give the channel a competitive edge against branded systems, said Steve Dallman, Intel’s Director of American Distribution and Channel Sales and Marketing.

The SKU, priced at just under $180 (normally about $260), runs a 2.67GHz CPU, just below the most powerful of the 5100 series, code-named Woodcrest, and 2MB of cache. Like the rest of the Dempsey line, it runs on 95 watts of power.

Dempsey, launched in only in May, quickly became Intel’s price-point play, as the vendor introduced the Xeon 5100 family, code-named Woodcrest, as the class leader. Woodcrest bests Dempsey with 3.0GHz, 4MB of L2 cache and 60 watts usage power.

To read more about Woodcrest’s product launch, click here.

Intel expects the Dempsey line to become the price leader, allowing the company to attack market share gains competitor AMD has made on both price and performance, said Pat Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group.

The 5030 SKU for resellers gives them an opportunity to get solutions in the hands of SMB customers, where price is king, Dallman said.

There will be no channel-SKU for the Woodcrest line, as the play there is on performance, Dallman said.

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Intel is relying heavily on its channel of 9,000 system builders and white-box makers to make the make the Dempsey and Woodcrest lines relevant and useful by designing solutions around the platform instead of simply selling on speed and performance.