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Even with Xeon MP, Intel Keeps PIII Xeon Prices High

Don't look for a dramatic drop in the price of Intel Pentium III Xeon systems now that the Intel Xeon MP is out.

Intel Corp. formally refreshed its processor pricing list this week for the first time since releasing the Intel Xeon MP chips for SMP servers.

Although Intel brings much greater speed and functionality to its 32-bit SMP lineup with the Intel Xeon MPs, the chipmaker will not be dropping the price of its multi-processing Pentium III Xeons for now.

The Pentium III Xeon at 900 MHz with 2 MB of Level 2 cache retains its hefty former price tag of $3,692. The new top-of-the-line Intel Xeon MP, a 1.6-GHz beast with 1 MB of new Level 3 cache, will cost the same amount. The only processor Intel charges more for in 1,000-unit quantities is its top 64-bit Itanium chips, which costs $4,227.

The story is the same down the line. The 700-MHz PIII Xeon with 2 MB of L2 cache is $1,980 -- the same price as the 1.5-GHz Xeon MP with 512 KB of L3 cache. And the 700-MHz PIII Xeon with 1 MB of L2 cache is $1,177 -- the same price as the new 1.4-GHz Xeon MP with 512 KB of L3 cache.

A factor that may have contributed to Intel's decision include the relative scarcity of OEM servers with chipsets able to handle the 400 MHz FSB and other features required for the new Intel Xeon MPs, especially in systems with more than four processors.

The updated price list on Sunday did bring price cuts ranging from 7 percent to 32 percent across several other lines of Intel processors. Lower prices were announced for Pentium 4, Pentium III, LV/ULV Mobile Pentium III-M, LV/ULV Mobile Celeron, non-SMP Xeon and Pentium III-S processors.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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