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September 30, 2005

Intel Sneaks out Cheap Pentiums

John G. Spooner at PC Magazine:

Intel is quietly offering a handful of low-end Pentium 4 processors to large PC makers.

Normally trumpeted as Intel Corp.’s flagship chip brand, chips such the new Pentium 4 516, which do not appear on the chip maker’s public price list, are actually closer to its Celeron D value brand chips.

Chips such as the 516, which have been showing up in some brand-name desktop PCs this fall, appear to be designed to help manufacturers market relatively inexpensive PC models with Pentium 4s inside them.

The Pentium 4 516 found in the newly introduced eMachines T5010 runs at 2.93GHz, is 64-bit capable and includes 1MB of cache and a 533MHz bus to shuttle data. The chip lacks hyperthreading along with the 800MHz bus found in chips such as the Pentium 4 520, which are listed on Intel’s public price list.

Gateway, whose eMachines-brand desktop line uses mainly AMD chips, chose the Pentium 4 516 for a specific reason.

“As always, it’s a matter of trading of balancing the best features for the price. We selected this [Pentium 4 516] product because we wanted to give customers a well-rounded Intel P4 configuration for under $500,” a Gateway spokesperson said in an e-mail.

Yeah, but if the “Intel P4 configuration” is really more like a typical Celeron configuration, there are several impolite terms for what they are doing. It’s hard to figure exactly what kind of price break Intel is actually giving the manufacturers, but TigerDirect is selling some of these chips priced individually. The model 506 (like the 516 but 2.66 GHz) is selling for less than some Celeron D models.

Posted at 10:29 am. Filed under Brands, Celeron, Companies, eMachines, Gateway, Intel, Microprocessors, Pentium 4, TigerDirect

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