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Pentium 5XX family not long for this world
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Old 22nd March 2005, 04:20   #1
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Default Pentium 5XX family not long for this world

RECENT roadmaps, covered in last week's INQUIRER, show that by August of this year Intel will accomplish something that few thought it could do by then. By the third quarter it will more or less phase out its 5XX microprocessor family with 1MB of cache, and replace them with the 6XX family, each of which has 2MB of cache, supports hyperthreading, and and come at roughly similar price points.
All of this is in step with its plans to produce four dual core "Smithfield" chips in the second quarter. The 840 Pentium Extreme dual core is the only one of the four to implement hyperthreading, but will use an 800MHz front side bus instead of the 1066MHz the Gallatin Extreme Editions had, and will cost a rather hefty $1,000. When you buy these processors in quantity.

The way Intel will phase out the 5XX family will be to cut prices rather savagely on the 6XX family in August. This will allow the 6XX family to be the mainstream Pentium 4 family until the end of the year, at which time it is paving the way for its 65 nanometre shrink and dual core microprocessors called Presler everywhere in its family.

So what do you do? Do you wait for the 6XX price drop in August? We'd suggest that's one possibility. Intel will rapidly make sure that supplies of the 5XX family become hard to find, and the 6XX family will support EM64T. While you can never be sure about anything with Microsoft, it's pretty clear that by then the final candidate of Windows XP 64 will be out there in the wild. And if, as expected, it has a whole set of driver support courtesy of Microsoft's partners, if you decide to choose a 2MB Pentium in the 6XX family, it will take advantage of that OS too.

Intel rarely makes a big splash about changes in pricing or even chip introductions these days - but that may change when it intros its dual core microprocessors.

Intel has a number of price changes on its chipset family, slated for early July. These include reductions on the 945G family by one dollar, and on the 945P by two dollars. It will also drop a dollar on the 915P, the 915L, the 915PL and the 910GL microprocessor chipsets. The chip firm will also introduce an option for its chipset customers for the ICH7-DH added - costing $10 at launch. On the “value” front - as Intel describes its Celerons, the next introduction is the Celeron 351/350, costing only $127 when it’s launched in the second quarter. We think that Intel is playing a pretty steady hand on its cut down microprocessors compared to AMD, which has really made a dog’s ear of positioning the Sempron. EM64T based Celerons will also appear in the second quarter.


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