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Coppermine: we got the prices – it's an Intel goldmine

But number of chips means dealing in constantly shifting sand

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Intel has managed to meet the deadline for the introduction of its Coppermine processors set by CEO Craig Barrett one month ago, as details of pricing for the parts leak through its distributor and dealer channel. At autumn's Intel Developer Forum, Craig Barrett imposed a geas* on his employees to release Coppermine desktop processors in late October. Earlier in the year, Intel had said the parts would be delayed until November. We can now reveal the dealer prices for the upcoming Coppermine parts, which will be introduced in the week starting October 25. Distributors worldwide are alerting their dealers early, in order to capitalise on the opportunity. Our information comes from two separate dealers (sorry, resellers), both of which would prefer to stay anonymous. The top of the range 733MHz part, a Pentium III with 133MHz front side (FSB) bus which includes 256K of cache and active cooling, will cost $810 when bought in boxes of 10, and $790 if dealers splash out for 100 pieces. It has the exciting designation BX80526U733256E. A 700MHz Pentium III but only using the 100MHz FSB but also with 256K cache and active cooling will cost $785/10, or $770/100. The 667MHz/133 will cost $630/10, or $620/100, while the 650MHz/100 will cost $610/10 or $595/100. These have the same amount of cache and active cooling. Active cooling, an Intel representative says, is a fan. Intel's next step will be to introduce Coppermine parts with larger caches, as it gradually moves to the .18 micron model. At the spring Intel Developer Forum, Pat Gelsinger, a senior VP at the corporation, revealed that by February 2000, his company would have several fabs bashing out the Coppermine technology. The Socket 370 parts, which are 500MHz/100FSB and 550MHz/100FSB units coming with 256K cache and spelling the beginning of the end of slot one, will cost $255/10 and $385/10. Intel will also introduce fast Xeon parts on the same day, it appears. The 733MHz/256 will cost $865 for 10, while the 667MHz will cost $688 for 10. It should be carefully noted that Intel is beginning to push Xeon and the desktop processors far closer together, as it readies future processor debuts. But this part of the complex equation puzzles us. What real difference is there now between Xeons and CuMine desktop chips? We have taken the information from price lists we've seen. It could be an error in the list and we're seeking clarification. We can confirm we have been shown copies of the current Intel price list, which is enough to make the most hardened marketing manager at a PC manufacturer, or a distributor, or a dealer, quiver. At the same time, it will be harder than ever for people buying PCs to figure out the starting price. There are over 90 chips currently in Intel's microprocessor portfolio and this figure will move like a dune in the Sahara Desert as the company introduces new parts and pushes old parts into its Gulag. It is certain there will be price reductions on many existing Pentium III parts as Intel intros Coppermine chips across the range. PC manufacturers do not market desktop or mobile chips as being "Coppermine (.18 micron)" or .25 micron. But many people buying PCs, whether at an individual or at a corporate level, do realise the benefits of .18 micron technology. That makes buying machines in the run up to the holiday season just as tricky as it ever was. ® * Factoid. A geas is an archaic word, now thoroughly up to date because we've used it. It is a bond or a magical injunction, the violation of which leads to misfortune and death. We are informed it was originally an Irish word. See also Nine new PIII flavours revealed Slot 1 close to death as Intel's plans for Coppermine emerge CuMine 7xxx microprocessors confirmed for late October Intel Coppermine -- the facts emerge

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