Intel yesterday introduced a new 600MHz Pentium III and 500MHz Celeron while simultaneously announcing price cuts across the Celeron range.
The new chips are priced at £423 and £105 respectively (in 1,000 unit batches). The Pentium III part uses 100MHz front side bus (FSB). A 600MHz chip with a 133MHz FSB (code-named Coppermine) is planned for launch in the fourth quarter. This will coincide with the release of the 820 chipset which provides 133MHz FSB capability.
Although Intel would not officially release the new Celeron price details as PC Week went to press, it is widely expected that prices will drop by around 20%.
Rival AMD launched a 600MHz version of its Athlon processor last month, priced at £442 per 1,000 units.
Also last week, Intel confirmed that it was suffering supply difficulties with its mainstream desktop chipsets - the 440BZ and ZX - due to a recent increase in demand as manufacturers prepare to ramp up production for the second half. The company said it is working to increase its supply and expects to fix the problem before the end of September.
The company claimed, however, that recent reports suggesting it had hiked the chipset prices were incorrect. Dave Hazel, Intel's director for Northern Europe, said: "We have not raised chipset prices. We've seen an increase in grey market activity causing price rises in those channels, but that is not driven by any Intel price changes. In a situation where you have constrained supply, some motherboard manufacturers may choose to put their prices up, giving the impression of increased chipset costs."
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