Intel Corp. dramatically slashed the prices of its Pentium 4 microprocessors over the weekend, complementing the cuts with discounts in its mobile and server lineups.
Historically Intel saves its deepest discounts for May and August, to stimulate demand during the slow summer months and as an incentive to spur back-to-school sales. As of press time, rival AMD had left its prices unchanged.
Intel cut the prices on select desktop Pentium 4 models almost in half, with most of discounts ranging between 20 and 40 percent. Intel also simplified its product pricing; Pentium 4 microprocessors available with either a 533-MHz or 400-MHz front-side bus are now priced identically, as are models with either 256 Kbytes or 512 Kbytes of level-2 cache.
Intel reduced the price of its 2.40-GHz desktop Pentium 4 by 29 percent, to $400. The largest discount was saved for the 2.26-GHz part, which the company hacked 43 percent to $241. Intels 2-GHz desktop Pentium 4 now costs $193, down 32 percent, while the 1.9-, 1.8-, and 1.7-GHz Pentium 4s now costs $173, $163, and $143, representing discounts of 23 percent, 16 percent, and 12 percent, respectively.
Intel also significantly reduced prices in its mobile Pentium 4 lineup, slashing the price of the 1.8-GHz Pentium 4 by 45 percent, to $348. The company gutted the price of its 1.7-GHz and 1.6-GHz mobile Pentium 4s by over 50 percent, dropping the price to $241 and $198, respectively. Intels 1.5-GHz mobile Pentium 4 was reduced a more modest 26 percent, also to $198. The company also sliced a few dollars of selected mobile Pentium III processors, cutting prices between 9 and 13 percent on the 1.06- to 1.2-GHz models.
Intels remaining cuts were reserved for its Pentium 4 Xeon line for servers and workstations, with the deepest cuts being made on the fastest processors. Intel left the price of the 2.4-GHz Xeon unchanged, but hacked the price of the 2.2-GHz Xeon by 44 percent, down to $262. The 1.8-GHz/512 Kbit and 1.7-GHz/256-Kbit chips were also cut by 14 percent and 10 percent to $192 and $202, respectively. But Intel also maintained the pricing differential it eliminated on its desktop Pentium 4 line, pricing the "2A" GHz chip with a 533-MHz bus speed at $224, down 27 percent, while slicing the older 2.0-GHz Xeon model at $256, down 19 percent.
This weekends price cuts confirm information initially disclosed to eWEEK by sources on April 1.