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Intel cuts Pentium 4 prices

The newest P4 chips drop in price by 18 percent to 35 percent; a host of other chips are cheaper now as well.

Intel on Sunday dropped prices on a range of Pentium 4 processors, some by more than a third.

The fastest version of the chip, the 3.6GHz Pentium 4 560, dropped by 35 percent from $637 to $417. The 3.4GHz Pentium 4 550 slipped by 33 percent from $417 to $278.

The 3.2GHz Pentium 4 540 dipped 22 percent from $278 to $218. The 3GHz Pentium 4 530 is down 18 percent, from $218 to $178.

Intel's prices reflect chips purchased in 1,000-unit lots by PC makers. Thus street prices for individual chips purchased by consumers vary and are often higher.

Intel lowers its prices on a fairly regular basis, often in order to make room for new processors or to stimulate demand. This price shift was the first one for its latest generation of numbered Pentium 4s, which emerged in June, along with its latest crop of supporting chips, the 915 Express and 925 Express chipsets.

The lower price for Intel's 3.6GHz Pentium 4 560 may ring hollow for some, however. The chip has proved difficult to find since its introduction in June.

Meanwhile, the chipmaker lowered prices by similar percentages on its older Pentium 4s, including chips such as the 3.4GHz and 3.4EGHz Pentium 4, which now cost $278, down 33 percent from $417. Those chips have been on the market much longer than the numbered Pentium 4s.

Intel, likewise, cut some mobile Pentium 4 prices by margins that ranged from 14 percent to 20 percent. The 3.2GHz mobile Pentium 4 538 dipped by 20 percent from $294 to $234, for example.

The company's 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz Pentium 4 with EMT64 for workstations and servers saw similar price reductions, dropping by 33 percent to $278 and 35 percent to $417, respectively. EMT64 is the name for Intel's version of 64-bit memory-addressing technology.

Meanwhile, Intel also lowered prices on several of its desktop Celeron chips by 7 percent to 12 percent. The 2.8GHz Celeron 335, for example, dropped 12 percent from $117 to $103.

The chipmaker enacted price cuts of up to 32 percent on some of its Itanium 2 server processors. The 1.3GHz Itanium 2 with 3MB of cache, for example, was ratcheted down 32 percent from $1,338 to $910, while the 1.4GHz with 4MB of cache dropped by 12 percent from $2,247 to $1,980.

AMD, Intel's rival in the PC chip business, last adjusted its prices in late July. The adjustment saw many Athlon XP and Athlon 64 prices go lower, but a few of the chips' prices increased slightly, as AMD adjusted its list prices to reflect chips sold in kits to distributors compared with those sold bare and direct to PC makers.