No Intel 4.0 Soon

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The Non-Event For Them

Intel announced that it will delay the 4GHz Prescott until Q1 2005.

It’s pretty clear why; they just can’t make enough (or at least enough that will run cool enough for an OEM box) to guarantee a reliable supply.

For those reading this, almost all are probably thinking, “This doesn’t break my hearts.”

But it probably will break some, including those who wouldn’t take a 4.0GHz Prescott if they were given one.

The Non-Event For Us

If there’s no 4.0GHz, there may not be the price cut associated with the introduction of a new flagship chip.

Since AMD has locked its Hammer pricing into Intel’s PIV pricing, that would affect even the biggest AMDroid on the planet.

No late year price-cut would probably mean the following

CPU Price Without Price Cut Price With Price Cut Difference
Athlon 3800+ $637 $417 $220
Athlon 3700+ $500 $340 $160
Athlon 3600+ $417 $278 $139
Athlon 3500+ $340 $245 $95
Athlon 3400+ $278 $218 $60
Athlon 3200+ $218 $178 $40
Athlon 3000+ $178 $163 $15

Outside of the 3000+, an appreciable to hefty difference.

It will be interesting to see how these two dance this song.

Having no 4.0GHz doesn’t preclude a 4.0GHz price cut. Recently, when Intel has faced a fairly short delay in getting a new flagship chip out, they’ve gone through with the price cut at one of their regularly scheduled times, leaving the top $637 price slot open until they were ready to fill it.

Then again, we’re moving into prime-time computer buying season, and Intel may decide to leave well enough alone, especially if sales are good.

One factor Intel will probably be little concerned about when they make that decision is AMD undercutting them. As they demonstrated just a few months ago, if AMD has a processor with a greater PR speed than Intel’s flagship chip, they’ll just charge more than Intel’s flagship price for it.

What Are The Odds On Intel Cutting Anyway?

If you put a gun to my head and said, “What’s it going to be, boy? Yes or no?” I would bet “Yes.”

But I could well be wrong.

If back-to-school sales are shaky, the odds on them cutting will grow. If they see that they won’t be able to get 4.0 out after a delay of a quarter, that will increase the pressure to not cut.

What are the odds on AMD cutting if Intel doesn’t? Not likely at all.

How Much Impact?

Given that AMD is going to launch lower-speed socket 939 chips, the lack of a price cut probably won’t do much to keep those wanting to buy one away. Most would probably want the 3000+ anyway, and some of those who planned on a 3200+ will either pay a bit more, or downshift a little to the 3000+.

It would have been much worse if AMD had left the 3500+ the introductory chip to socket 939. The difference between $340 and $245 is the difference between buying and not buying for many.

The real impact would be on the Alienware types. The price difference for them would be sizable, and the choice becomes pony up, settle for less, or forget about a hot box this Christmas.


Ed

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