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Mobo makers: Pentium 4 to dominate sales in Q4

Gigabyte, Asustek etc. look to P4 to drive up average mobo prices

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Intel is set to launch faster Pentium 4s in Q4 - so much is known from the company's roadmap - but, according to motherboard maker Gigabyte, we can expect further price cuts too.

The next round of P4 price reductions is expected to take place on 26 August, when the 2GHz P4 will be introduced. Further cuts will come on 28 October, just before Intel debuts the 2.2GHz P4, this one based on 0.13 micron technology.

So, Gigabyte has effectively confirmed the 28 October price cuts.

The mobo company, like others of its ilk, is looking to rising P4 sales to drive up not only motherboard sales but average motherboard prices. Gigabyte said its expects its average selling price to rise from $70-80 in the first half of the year to $85-120 in the second half.

Demand, meanwhile, will drive up sales of P4 mobos, based on either the Rambus-based i850 or the new SDRAM-based i845 (aka Brookdale) and the new 478-pin P4 variant. Gigabyte estimates P4-based board sales will accelerate through Q4 - when third-party P4 chipsets are expected to appear. By then, the company reckons, half of its mobos will be destined for P4 systems (up from just ten per cent in Q3), a quarter for AMD-based machines and the remaining quarter split between the PIII and Celeron.

Rival mobo vendor Asustek broadly as optimistic, but reckons P4-based boards will account for 20 per cent of sales in Q4, rising to 50 per cent in 2002. Microstar believes the 50 per cent sales mix will be hit by P4 mobos in Q1 2002.

Gigabyte, meanwhile, reckons RDRAM-based boards will account for 20 per cent of its P4 mobo shipments. The remaining 80 per cent will use SDRAM memory. ®

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