First, some bad news, but I promise the rest of it looks much better. Intel announced a couple days ago that it was going to pull 550E processors for about a month for some redesign, so they aren’t going to be very available at all during February. However, as you will see, this is a blessing in disguise if you can just hold off until April.
I’ve mentioned a couple times that Intel was bound to introduce a new core stepping to improve Coppermines, and that those of you who were interested in getting to a higher speed with a higher end Coppermine should probably wait for that stepping. Well, I was digging through Intel’s website and found information on it! You can find what I found at HERE. If you don’t want to look, here’s the important stuff:
The Pentium III 0.18 in the SECC2 and FC-PGA package will undergo the following changes to improve product performance and allow the introduction of higher processor frequencies :
- Core processor stepping change from A-2 to B-0
- CPU ID change and microcode update changes
- Correction of errata
Forecasted Key Milestones:
- Date of First Availability of Post-Conversion Material: April 7, 2000.
- By April, these Coppermine shortages (see below) should have eased with two more fab plants on line, and pricing should at most be:
- 650E: $340-350
- 600E: $260-270
- 550E: $215-225
- 500E: slightly under $200
By the end of June, the 600E will be the low-end unit at a little over $200, and the 700E will be about $280-290. By then also, the Coppermine-128s should be available in 566 and 600Mhz at 66Mhz bus versions for those of you who want to take a crack at 850 or 900 at 100Mhz FSB.
What about motherboards? It looks like the Solano2 motherboards should debut in May, and will include ATA100 along with that AGP 4X and ½ AGP ratio you’ve all been wanting.