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Intel preps speedier Pentium 4

The chipmaker will quietly launch a 3.8GHz Pentium 4 for desktops on Nov. 15, sources tell CNET

Intel will deliver the last of its speed-fueled Pentium 4 processors later this month.

The chipmaker plans to quietly roll out its 3.8GHz Pentium 4 570 for desktop PCs on Nov. 15, sources familiar with the company's plans indicated.

Related story

P4 Extreme Edition
runs at 3.46GHz and
offers 2MB of cache.

The chip will offer an extra helping of clock speed for high-end PCs, as Pentium 4 chips are now only available at speeds of up to 3.6GHz. But the 570 will likely be known more for its place in history, because it will, in a sense, represent the end of an era for the chipmaker. Intel focused for years on driving its PC processors' clock speeds higher, but this year it began focusing more on other elements that augment chip performance.

The chipmaker began discussing its efforts to build PC platforms, such as Centrino notebooks and living room PCs; introduced a new naming systems for processors that de-emphasizes clock speed and reflects other chip features; and shuffled its processor road map, canceling the high-speed Tejas chip and

Last month, Intel also canceled its 4GHz Pentium 4, which had been slated for first quarter of 2005. Instead, the chipmaker said it would deliver Pentium 4 chips that derive performance gains from features other than clock speed increases. The first such chips will be Pentium 4s that use 2MB of cache and double the main pool of onboard memory.

The first mainstream Pentium 4 with 2MB of cache will run at 3.8GHz and come out early next year, Intel representatives have said. Previously, only Intel's

"It does show that Intel is continuing progress with speeds," said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

But the chip isn't likely to see large sales volumes at first, he said, because it's coming to market fairly late in the game for manufacturers to be able to build it into PCs that will reach store shelves in time for the holidays. Instead, major PC makers are likely to offer it in systems sold directly to customers.