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Pentium 4 ships today

They're heeeeere!

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We've been banging on about Willamette/P4 for longer than I care to remember. Now at last it's arrived and we can concentrate our speculative powers on Itanic, Tualatin, Foster and co.

The flagchip launches at 1.4 and 1.5GHz at $644 and $819 respectively (1Ku quantities), moving rapidly to 1.7 and 2GHz in Q1. Intel currently has an introductory offer of CPU, D850GB mobo and two 64MB PC800 Rambus RIMMs. The P4 comes bundled with Rambus memory through Intel's RDRAM Credit Program, under which a subsidy of $70 per processor will be granted at launch, dropping to $60 in Q1 next year.

Of course, these are bulk prices. If you want to pop along to Tottenham Court Road and buy one yourself, the retail boxed 1.5GHz part will be selling at £999.95 inc VAT and the 1.4GHz part at £849.95 inc VAT. A useful calculation (for UK folk) is to take the 1Ku dollar price, change the currency symbol to a pound, and voila - the high street price for a single chip with VAT added in.

Intel confirmed last week that it wouldn't have a chipset or mobo supporting anything other than Rambus until the back end of next year, but is currently negotiating with other chipset vendors, including Via, to license the P4 architecture enabling them to produce chipsets capable of supporting the cheaper DDR SDRAM. Intel is still bound by an agreement with Rambus forbidding the chip behemoth from dumping RDRAM before 2003. ®

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