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Intel cuts chip prices

The chipmaker's quarterly ritual leaves "classic" Pentium prices cut by 48 percent; newer models bear more modest discounts.

Intel (INTC) made price cuts Monday ranging up to 48 percent on its Pentium and Pentium Pro processors, making way for its brand-new line of Pentium II processors to be announced next week.

The "classic," non-MMX Pentium processors for desktops saw the deepest price cuts. The top-of-the-line 200-MHz Pentium plummeted in price from $498 to $257, a cut of 48 percent. The mainstay 166-MHz Pentium fell from $295 to $209, 29 percent.

Intel is pricing classic Pentiums lower as it begins the process of relegating these processors to the bottom of its hierarchy in favor of MMX Pentiums and MMX Pentium II processors.

MMX Pentium prices also were slashed. Though price reductions were not as dramatic as classic Pentiums, the new pricing allows the soon-to-be-announced 233- and 266-MHz Pentium II processors to fit into Intel's pricing scheme.

The 200-MHz MMX Pentium for desktop PCs dipped in price from $539 to $492, about nine percent. The 166-MHz MMX Pentium went from $356 to $270, or a 24 percent cut.

In the mobile MMX Pentium category, the 166-MHz processor was cut in price from $539 to $498, an eight percent decrease.

The 133-MHz mobile classic Pentium fell from $174 to $166, while the 120-MHz mobile chip stayed at $106.

The 200-MHz Pentium Pro processor with 512K of built-in cache memory remained unchanged at $1,035. The 166-MHz version with 512K of cache was slashed from $627 to $412, a drop of 34 percent. The 200-MHz Pentium Pro with 256K of cache memory was shaved from $525 to $514.