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Intel snips desktop Celeron prices

The chipmaker brings down prices on the desktop processors by as much as 14 percent, paving the way for faster Celerons in the future.

Intel may be making room for new Celeron chips.

As expected, the chipmaker on Sunday cut list prices by as much as 14 percent, to below $100, on its Celeron processors for low-priced desktop PCs. The cuts pave the way for the introduction of a 2.7GHz desktop Celeron in the future.

Intel typically schedules its price drops and communicates them to PC makers well in advance. However, the Santa Clara, Calif., company also uses pricing as a tool to make room for new chips, motivate PC buyers or prod PC makers to move up to faster processors. It does so by reducing the price on the faster chip so that it's the same as the slower chip's price.

This time around, Intel's largest price cut was on its fastest Celeron. It decreased the price of the 2.6GHz desktop chip by 14 percent, from $103 to $89.

Intel also dropped the price of the 2.5GHz Celeron by 7 percent, from $89 to $83. Its 2.4GHz Celeron was reduced by 6 percent, from $84 to $79.

Intel held its 2.3GHz Celeron at $79 and brought down the price of its 2.2GHz and 2.1GHz Celerons, which are priced the same, by 7 percent, from $74 to $69.

The company's Celeron line is based on the same processor core as is its Pentium 4. But the less-expensive Celerons come with a smaller 128KB cache and a 400MHz bus, or pipeline for data, that is slower than those found on most current Pentium 4s. Thus, the Celeron costs less, allowing it to fit into parts budgets for low-priced PCs.

Intel's published list prices reflect processors purchased in 1,000-unit lots. Depending on supply and demand, individual chips purchased by consumers can be higher or lower than the list prices.