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Intel sneaks out a 3.8GHz Pentium 4

Chipmaker's speedy Pentium 4 gets even faster.

Intel has quietly upped the speed of its Pentium 4 processor line for desktop PCs.

As expected, the chipmaker rolled out the 3.8GHz Pentium 4 570--its fastest processor to date--on Monday. But the company did so quietly, adding information about the chip to its Web site without issuing a press release.

The new 3.8GHz Pentium 4, whose main advantage is an extra 200MHz in clock speed (over the 3.6GHz Pentium 4 560), will come in high-end desktops at first. Game systems such as Hewlett-Packard's Compaq X will be among the first desktops to offer the chip.