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Intel flags 2 Aug for new chips, prices

PC vendors gear up for Q4 consumer selling season

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August 2 is D-Day for the next iteration of Intel CPUs, and a fresh round of Celeron price cuts. The new babies are the 600MHz Pentium III and the 500MHz Celeron, costing $669 and $167 each (but only if you buy 1000 of them). The price cuts are for the 466MHz Celeron which will now cost $114, down from $147, while a 433MHz version will cost $93, down from $113, according to widespread but apparently entirely unofficial market reports. Expect a raft of PC manufacturer announcements to coincide with the new chips. August may be a dead time, as far as PC sales go -– but it gives the vendors a useful breathing space, while they gear up for Back to School and the Q4 consumer sales rush in the lead-up to Christmas. Cheaper Celerons will translate into cheaper PCs -- which will get even cheaper when Quantum and Fujitsu get their acts together on the budget HDD front. So far, Seagate has this field to itself. But its rivals say they will ship their budget ranges in September. ®

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