Price cuts pave way for 23 April 1.7GHz P4 launch

Up 19 per cent off current P4s next weekend

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Intel will release the 1.7GHz Pentium 4 on 23 April, a week after making across-the-line price cuts on lesser chips and the arrival of the 1.13GHz Pentium III, the highest speed Coppermine desktop CPU will ever reach - officially, at least.

According to Intel's own roadmap, which we revealed back in January, the next major round of P4 and PIII price cuts is scheduled to take place on 15 April, with the 1.7GHz P4 launch following sometime afterwards, but before further price cuts on 27 May.

Now, CNET sources have put the 1.7GHz launch date at 23 April, at which point a number of PC vendors - including Dell in the US and, here in the UK, Mesh - will start to offer machines based on the part.

The 1.7GHz chip will launch at $776, though its price is expected to come down to $669, a fall of nearly 14 per cent, on 27 May.

Next week, the current top-of-the-line 1.5GHz P4 will fall $562 from $637 (down 12 per cent), the 1.4GHz part will hit $375 from $423 (down 11 per cent), and the 1.3GHz chip will go to $268 from $332 (down 19 per cent).

On 27 May, the 1.5GHz to $455 (down 19 per cent), the 1.4GHz (down 16 per cent) to $316 and the 1.3GHz part to $241 (down 10 per cent).

Next Sunday will also see the debut of the 1.13GHz PIII, which will debut at $268, and the price of the 1GHz PIII falling from $241 to $225 (down 6.6 per cent).

The 1.13GHz part will be the last PIII based on Intel's 0.18 micron Coppermine core to ship into the desktop arena before the arrival of the 0.13 micron Tualatin in Q3 takes the PIII to 1.26GHz, probably the highest speed the PIII will ever reach before being completely phased out by the P4.

Intel was due to release Tualatin pricing last month. As yet, we've heard nothing, but anyone with data should email us here. ®

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