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Shortage of 350MHz PIIs spreads to 450MHz parts

Knock on effect follows shortage while Intel cautions against overclocking Celerons

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The shortage of 350MHz Pentium IIs now appears to have had a knock on effect on higher end processors, with reports that there is now some difficulty in sourcing 400MHz and 450MHz parts. But Intel is sticking by its official statement it made three weeks ago, when it stated there were some constraints on 350MHz Pentium IIs. That has caused some distributors and dealers to persuade customers to buy 450MHz PIIs instead. However, sources close to Intel suggested that part of the problem was that increased demand in the fourth quarter had caught some of its OEM customers on the hop. The order cycle for OEMs is around 90 days, meaning that increased demand had meant they had underestimated their orders for the fourth quarter of the year. The shortage of 350MHz Pentium IIs still continues, notwithstanding the latest reports. According to Mark Davison, processor product manager of UK distributor Datrontech last week, some of his dealer customers were using 300a and 333MHz Celerons instead. A reader of The Register suggested that a Celeron 300A could "easily be run at 450MHz with no extra cooling". He said: "Celerons with cache are really PIIs, they even have ECC L2 cache." However, Intel has repeated its cautions about end users attempting to make Celerons behave like fully fledged Pentium IIs. Another source at Intel said: "PIIs have 512K L2 running at half core speed, Celerons have 128K L2 running at core speed. PII L2 is off die, Celeron L2 is on die. Only the P6 architecture is shared. Mendocino is a completely different bit of silicon from PII." She said: "Hell, run them at any speed you want. When you blow it up we’ll be happy to sell you another because you won't get them under guarantee. It's your call." ®

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