Intel to hit untold speeds

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 percent. Prices on Intel's mobile Pentium III chips were reduced by up to 34 percent, while the price of a mobile Celeron dropped as much as 44 percent, according to information on the company's website. The price of Intel's Pentium III Xeon processor, designed for workstations and servers, fell by up to 29 percent, the company said.

The price cuts took effect May 28, and apply to chips bought in 1,000-unit quantities. Intel said the price cutting moves are part of the company's regular pricing activity.

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, sources said today. 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 spokesman Seth Walker said in a phone interview.

Also next month, Intel is 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.

Not to be outdone, AMD will look to upstage its larger rival with the release of Duron, its new chip for sub-$US1,000 PCs, and Thunderbird, an improved version of its high-end Athlon processor. Both of these processors are expected to appear in the next four to six weeks.

AMD is keeping a tight lid on Duron's details, including its clock speed and price. Formerly codenamed Spitfire, the chip will have a 200MHz front-side bus, AMD's 3DNow technology, and an on-chip Level 2 cache, all of which should help enhance its performance, AMD has said. Duron is a Latin word that translates roughly as "long lasting."

Thunderbird, meanwhile, tweaks AMD's existing Athlon processor by moving the Level 2 cache onto the same silicon die as the processor - a move that should boost performance. AMD is keeping quiet about what Thunderbird's clock speed will be; the company's current fastest Athlon processor runs at 1GHz, the same speed as Intel's fastest Pentium III.

Clock speed is only one measure of processor performance, which also depends on a host of other variables. Consumers tend to pay closest attention to the megahertz figure, which has sparked an intense rivalry between Intel and AMD to offer the "fastest" chip.

Later this year, Intel plans to launch a new PC processor codenamed Willamette, which it says is based on a completely revised architecture from today's Pentium III. Intel has said it will debut the processor at a clock speed of 1.4GHz.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?