Mobo makers sniffy about 100MHz FSB 1GHz PIII

Designed to take on gigahertz Duron?

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Taiwan's mobo makers aren't too keen on Intel's plan to ship 1GHz and 1.1GHz Pentium III processors designed to work with a 100MHz frontside bus.

They fear the part - presumably designed to broaden the Intel's appeal at the low-end of the PC market - will have the reverse effect, according to a DigiTimes report.

The part is due to ship sometime next month. Intel's recent Pentium 4 price cuts have pushed the PIII even further into what might normally be considered Celeron territory. Intel has long been accused of neglecting the low end. Indeed, while the P4 is expected to hit 2GHz in Q3, the Celeron line won't reach 1GHz until Q2 2002. AMD, on the other hand, is expected to ship a gigahertz Duron during the middle of this year.

The upshot of the P4 price cuts is that the PIII can effectively be positioned as a high end Celeron and plug that embarrassing gap between the two CPU families, and make AMD's job harder. As the DigiTimes report points out, the PIII can be installed in Intel's own Celeron-oriented 810 chipset, and take advantage of very cheap PC-100 SDRAM.

The snag is that the mobo makers aren't too happy with the plan. The more cynical among them view the move as tactical - Intel wants to get mobo makers' focus back on its own products and away from AMD's. Most, however, reckon it will just confuse matters, this blending of Celeron and Pentium lines.

With more than a few analysts claiming that when the PC market rebounds, it will favour low-end machines and not those based on top-end parts like the P4, Intel's move may serve to leverage that trend. ®

Related Link

DigiTimes: Motherboard makers eye new Pentium III with apprehension

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