Intel is set to slash prices on a range of its notebook PC processors, including the PII/mobile modules it introduced on 2 April.
The cuts will spark off a new campaign in the notebook price war, with some PII chip tags falling by as much as 16 per cent. According to US reports the 233MHz PII chip will drop to $391, down 16 per cent, while the 266MHz version will fall by eight per cent to $637.
But there are far deeper cuts on Intel's Tillamook MMX range of notebook chips, suggesting that the company is eager for PC vendors to move quickly to the PII processors.
A 200MHz MMX processor will now cost $134, a 42 per cent fall from its February pricing of $230, while processors below 200MHz are likely to cost less than $100. When Intel takes this type of pricing action, it suggests that a processor has reached the end of its life and is also likely to be hard to obtain.
Two weeks ago, Intel confirmed it was not making fresh wafer starts on its desktop Pentium MMX chips and vendors are bound to start cutting the price of their lower end notebooks.
Graham Stewart, notebook marketing manager at Compaq UK, said: "It wouldn't surprise me if Intel brings down the prices. We'll see a rapid migration to the PII, which is 30 per cent faster than the Tillamook is."
Users who want heavy duty notebooks running Windows NT 4.0 are already migrating to the PII/mobile, he claimed, adding that typical configurations for such machines use synchronous Dram rather than EDO memory for greater performance, and fast AGP standard graphics. Those features, combined with NT 4.0, give consistently better benchmarks than MMX models.
At press time, no-one was available from Intel to comment.
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