Intel cuts prices, adds faster chips

Promises of block speeds up to 700 Mhz for Celeron and Pentium III at 850 MhzIntel has taken the axe to its microprocessor prices as it prepares to release a range of new products in the weeks ahead.

In the desktop market, Intel cut the price of its high-end Pentium III processor by as much as 31 per cent, and its Celeron processor by up to 15 per cent. Prices on Intel's mobile Pentium III chips were reduced by up to 34 per cent, while the price of a mobile Celeron dropped as much as 44 per cent, according to information on the company's Web site. The price of Intel's Pentium III Xeon processor, designed for workstations and servers, fell by up to 29 per cent, the company said.

The price cuts took effect on May 28, and apply to chips bought in 1000-unit quantities. Intel said the price cutting moves are part of the company's regular pricing activity.

The same cuts will apply within the Australian market, according to public relations manager Stephanie Silvester.

The cuts come as both Intel and its chief rival, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), prepare to release a shower of new, faster processors in the weeks ahead.

By the end of next month, Intel plans to release new desktop Celerons running at clock speeds of 633MHz, 667MHz and 700MHz. Intel's current fastest Celeron tops out at 600MHz. For notebook users, Intel has said it will raise the speed of its fastest mobile Pentium III to at least 750MHz by the end of the first half of this year, up from 700MHz today. The chip's clock speed should increase to 850MHz or greater in the second half of this year. Intel is also expected to release a new chipset called the 815. A chipset is a collection of chips that surrounds the main processor in a PC. The 815 includes a 133MHz system bus, compared to 100MHz on comparable Intel chipsets today, as well as an optional integrated graphics chip that should help PC makers offer customers a greater choice of graphics configurations.

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