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Mobo prices fall ahead of Grantsdale cuts

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Taiwanese mobo makers have reduced what they charge for i915P and i915G-based boards, lending credence to claims that Intel will next month cut the price of its mainstream desktop chipsets.

Last month, sources from among Taiwan's motherboard makers alleged Intel would trim $1-2 off its 'Grantsdale' prices in a bid to boost demand for both the chipsets and the 775-pin Socket T Pentium 4 processors they support.

According to DigiTimes, the latest mobo price cuts have been made in anticipation of Intel's own. Around $10 has been knocked off i915G and i915P-based mobos, taking average prices down to $100 and $90, respectively.

The site's sources also said mobo makers will release "aggressively priced" low-cost 915-based boards later this month. This may be further evidence for the rumoured upcoming availability of a line of low-end Grantsdale chipsets Intel is currently preparing.

Intel is expected to offer the i915GV, a i915G minus the ability to operate with an external PCI Express x16 graphics card. It will features Intel's Media Graphics Accelerator 900 integrated 3D engine. The GV will support all Socket-T LGA-775 CPUs across either a 533MHz or 800MHz frontside bus. It can take DDR SDRAM clocked at 33MHz or 400MHz, or DDR 2 memory clocked at 400MHz or 533MHz, all in dual-channel configuration.

It will be accompanied by the i910GL which will provide only dual-channel DDR 333/400 support. It too will lack PCI Express x16, but will be able operate with 478-pin processors.

Intel's launches and price cuts will also help it compete with rival chipset vendors SiS, VIA and ULi, which are ramping up their own Socket T chipsets. ®

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