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Intel Discontinues 1.6A Here’s the announcement from Intel.

When Intel discontinues a processor, they usually give a future date for discontinuance of the product, then post the last date vendors can order these things.

This time, discontinuance is now, and Intel will only ship while supplies last.

So if you want one of these things, you’d better order it ASAP, simply because I’d bet dollars to doughnuts the price will rise on these quite shortly.

(Note: The Intel announcement has one misprint. The SL668, like all other Northwoods, is a B0 stepping, not a D0 stepping as stated in the announcement. Intel does make a lot of typos in these type documents.)

What Other Options Do I Have?

We’ve run into a bit of a problem in judging some of the alternatives.

When the low-speed Northwoods came out, people initially bought 1.6As and 1.8As. The 1.8As originally didn’t do any better than the 1.6As, so people stopped buying the 1.8As. Then the 1.6As got better, but since the 1.8As had been bypassed, very few people bought current ones and reported them in the database.

So when you look at the database for the 1.8As, with just a few exceptions, you are looking at the results of “old” 1.8As, not newer ones. (The same holds true for the 2.0A.)

My suspicion is that recently made 1.8As will do just as well as recently made 1.6As in raw MHzage.

A Shrink Is Coming

About two months ago, Intel announced that they would be shrinking their PIV processors by about 10%. At that time, the announcement said that this would happen to the 2.53GHz in a few weeks, and for the 2.0A and up in a few months.

Well, we’re supposed to be seeing these things in about four weeks, but sometimes in August is probably more like it. If I were going to buy a 2.0A or a 2.26, I would much rather have a post-shrunk one.

Intel Finally Announces A C-1 Stepping for a few PIVs Intel introduced the Northwood at a B0 stepping, and has not officially revised it yet.

Until now. Please note that this isn’t an announcement for desktop PIV, just for a mobile PIV, but it’s an indicator the “real” announcement is coming, and we’ll see C-1 stepping PIVs sometime in October.

So if you want a PIV system, you basically have three options:

“I Have The Hots And Want It Real Soon” Buy a 1.6A NOW. Prices as I type are at about $138-140 with shipping.

“I Have The Hots, But That’s Just The Weather. I Need Something For School” Hope the delivery of shrunken PIVs begin before school does.

“I Have To Give Santa Something To Do” This may be the wisest move of all. Not only will you get a C-1 stepping PIV, but dual DDR mobos should also be available by then.

We now can estimate how much of a boost dual DDR will give you based on how PC1066 RDRAM has been faring.

Going to dual DDR will be much like going from SDRAM to DDR. Figure about a 7-10% improvement using dual PC2100 over single PC2100 for those applications and games that like more broadband.

By Novemberish time, the PIV overclocking platform is likely to be a 2.26GHz running at over 166MHz FSB in a dual DDR board, which should improve the numbers a few more percentage points.

If you have or shortly will have a PIV system, you may not want to buy a new mobo for 7-10%, but if you are starting from scratch, this looks to be the “mature” PIV platform.

“But Hammer may be better” you might say. You may well be right, but I’m just telling you what you’ll be comparing the initial Hammer machine to. If you want to wait until one way or the other you can judge the two side-by-side, that’s probably the wisest move of all, but then we’re probably talking February.

Ed

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