Intel takes axe to Pentium 4, Itanium prices

Intel takes axe to Pentium 4, Itanium prices

Intel slashed prices across its Pentium 4 and Itanium product lines Sunday as it prepares for its biannual developer conference in San Francisco at the beginning of September.

Intel usually cuts prices in the weeks before the introduction of a new product in order to make room at the top of its pricing structure for the new products. The company's chips are generally priced according to a sliding schedule, with new product introductions bumping older chips down a pricing scale.

The fastest Pentium 4 processor currently available, the Pentium 4 560 processor, now costs US$417 in quantities of 1,000 units. This is a 34.5 percent cut from its previous price of US$637. Other Pentium 4 processors based on Intel's new LGA775 (land grid array) packaging were also cut by anywhere from 33 percent to 18 percent, and Pentium 4 chips based on the company's older packaging technology saw similar price cuts.

Celeron D and Celeron prices decreased on Sunday anywhere from 12 percent to 6.7 percent. The Celeron brand name is used for cut-down versions of the Pentium 4 chip that feature about half the cache of their more powerful cousins. The Celeron D brand represents the 90-nanometer version, and the most expensive Celeron D chip, the Celeron D 335, now costs US$103 down from US$117.

Intel left alone prices on its Pentium M processor, but cut the prices for the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 processor, a desktop-replacement chip. The most powerful chip in that lineup, the Mobile Intel Pentium 4 538 processor, now costs US$234, down from US$294.

The company also cut prices on several Itanium 2 processors. The most expensive Itanium 2 processors were left alone but the 1.4GHz processor with 4M bytes of Level 3 cache now costs US$1,980, down from US$2,247. The 1.3GHz chip with 3M bytes of Level 3 cache now costs US$910, down from US$1,338. Intel also cut prices on the 1.4GHz chip with 3M bytes of Level 3 cache, the 1.4GHz chip with 1.5M bytes of Level 3 cache, and the low-power 1GHz chip with 1.5M bytes of Level 3 cache.

The Intel Developer Forum has traditionally been used by the company to introduce new products or to provide updates to its product strategy. This year's conference will be closely watched as Intel has yet to provide specific details about the next generation of its Pentium 4 and Xeon processors since it ripped up its road maps in May and canceled two future products.

The company has spoken about its plans to move to dual-core designs for desktop, server and notebook processors in 2005, but it has not said what type of architecture those chips will have.

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