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Boxed 533MHz FSB Dothans seen on sale

Tokyo shops offer new mobile CPUs a week early

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Upcoming Intel Pentium M processors with support for a 533MHz frontside bus speed have gone on sale in Japan, a week before their formal introduction.

This is no great surprise. With Sonoma, the second generation of Intel's Centrino platform, launching on 19 January, the chip maker has been shipping the key components in plenty of time to PC makers to allow them to have notebooks for sale on the big day.

Central to Sonoma is the 'Alviso' chipset, which will initially be made available in two forms, the discrete 915PM and the integrated 915GM. Alviso began shipping in December 2004. A key feature is support for a 533MHz FSB, up from the original Centrino's 400MHz bus, so it was only a matter of time before boxed 533MHz Pentium Ms appeared.

The Pentium Ms now available in Japan include the 730, 740, 750 and 760, each slotting into Intel's price list above the 725, 735, 745 and 755, respectively, with the higher FSB and slightly higher clock speeds accounting for the five extra model number points in each case. The new chips are clocked at 1.60, 1.73, 1.86 and 2.00GHz, respectively. The top three chips are priced at around ¥51,450 ($498), ¥35,700 ($346) and ¥29,400 ($285), respectively.

Like earlier Dothan processors, the new Pentium Ms contain 2MB of L2 cache. They also support the 'no execute' bit, as used by Windows XP Service Pack 2 to prevent some viruses running from 'data only' memory. ®

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