Intel takes Pentium 4 to 1.7GHz, plans deep price cuts

At $US352 in bulk quantities, analysts noted that the price of the new processor is unusually low for a new Intel chip. By contrast, its current fastest processor, the 1.5GHz Pentium 4, carried a list price of $US637 in March, although that price will be slashed to $US256 in an aggressive round of price cuts that will take effect 29 April, Intel officials said.

The lower prices aren't unexpected, and reflect a desire on Intel's part to crank up sales of its high-end Pentium 4 products, said Dean McCarron, an analyst with Mercury Research.

"When you see (the prices) in the context of Intel really wanting to get Pentium 4 volume up there, it makes a little more sense," he said.

The price reductions won't necessarily lead to cheaper PCs, but should allow end users to get their hands on a Pentium 4-based system for about the same price they would previously have paid for a Pentium III machine, McCarron said. "In a $1100 PC, when you would have gotten the Pentium III, you'll now be able to get a Pentium 4," he said.

The usual vendors are expected to offer PCs based on the newest chip, including Dell Computer Corp., NEC Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co., Compaq Computer Corp. and IBM Corp., Intel said. It wasn't immediately clear when those systems will go on sale, but some were expected to launch Monday.

In terms of clock speed, the new Pentium 4 widens Intel's advantage over its chief rival, Advanced Micro Devices, whose fastest Athlon processor available today runs at 1.33GHz. Clock speed is only one measure of a chip's performance, but it's one that many shoppers pay close attention to. AMD beat Intel to the 1GHz mark just over a year ago, but Intel has clawed back.

In other price reductions that will take effect 29 April, the 1.4GHz and 1.3GHz Pentium 4s, which are priced today at $US375 and $US268 respectively, will both fall to $US193, Intel said. Putting the same price tag on the two slower Pentium 4s is Intel's way of killing off the slower chip and keeping its chip line-up lean, McCarron said.

"It's an incentive to get you to buy the new (1.4GHz) one," he said. "It basically kills off the lower-priced device really quickly."

AMD may not be forced to respond with price cuts of its own, although it's rumoured to be planning such a move, McCarron said. If AMD does cut prices it will likely be only on its fastest chips, he said.

Intel downplayed the depth of the price cuts, and said the new 1.7GHz chip will help users to embrace what it calls the "extended PC." The concept sees the PC as a kind of digital hub that's used for storing, exchanging and viewing content from devices like MP3 music players and digital cameras, and the faster processor makes it easier to create and manage such content, Intel said.

"Each of these usage models is drawing the PC into the centre of the digital world," Anand Chandresekher, vice president and general manager of the Intel Architecture Marketing Group, said.

He also said Intel has been enjoying "good yields" with the Pentium 4, which means its manufacturing process is doing a good job of producing the chips. The company is making Pentium 4s at five fabrication plants today, and plans to increase that number to seven by year's end, Intel said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Douglas F. Gray

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?