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Intel

Intel Cuts Chip Prices by up to 53 Percent 316

babbage1815 writes: "Intel Corp. has cut prices on some of its microprocessors by as much as 53 percent as the world's largest chipmaker's investments in manufacturing over the past two years are starting to pay off." Most of the cuts are at the very high end of the line -- it'll be interesting to see what happens to the prices of the competing AMD offerings.
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Intel Cuts Chip Prices by up to 53 Percent

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  • Finally (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anomolous Cow Herd ( 457746 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:05PM (#3598553) Journal
    I'm happy for this. Not only does the consumer win with every price cut that happens in the chip industry, but one of the market leaders will be able to keep up with AMD.

    I mean, sure, AMD's chips are dirt cheap, but sometimes I just want to have a chip that I can be sure to depend on over the years. Certainly, the newest offerings from Intel are the coolest running in the competitive gaming market (not like an AMD, which I could probably cook my breakfast over). I'm sick of my room getting all stuffy and hot just from leaving my Athlon machine on for more than 10 minutes, despite the best efforts of the air conditioning unit and the ceiling fan.

    Also, I have a DDR SDRAM motherboard for my Athlon, and I've figured that it'd at least work as a stopgap measure until I could afford something better. Fortunately, now that the final price barrier is gone on the alternative, I can finally get some nice Quake III framerates with an RDRAM-based board. That extra memory bandwidth sure is nice.

    So, score one for Intel, and score one for my power bill. My wallet will thank me later.

    • I can finally get some nice Quake III framerates with an RDRAM-based board. That extra memory bandwidth sure is nice.


      AMD TBird 900, 640mb PC133 SDRAM, RADEON 8500 and I get 70fps+ on quake3 with the graphic settings on max. Tune it down just at bit and easily 100+ (even with anisotrophic filtering)

      ...get a good graphics card and then you'll be able to get good fps... its not your ram's bandwidth...
    • Please write back when you have looked up the energy consumption (~heat production) of a new Athlon compared to a (.18-micron) P4. I think you'll find the difference is negligible, certainly not enough to make a difference in room temperature.

      As for getting a good frame rate in Quake3, your comment is pretty stupid. Unless you have an ancient graphics card, you surely get a higher frame rate with your Athlon than the refresh frequency of your monitor. I know I like playing at 1600X1200, and I still get better than 85fps, which is all my monitor can display.

      If you've fallen for Intel brainwashing, that's your own problem. Just don't go thinking you're insightful when all you do is repeat their FUD without really taking the time to look at real specs.

  • Moore's Law predicts that this will happen which is that we will see the doubling of hardware capacity per dollar every 18 months. It looks like Intel has just finally decided to shift down it's prices. I guess the gravy train of overcharging on processers is over for now, until they release another model chip (which is really based on the last one). What will they call this one? Pentium V? Pentium Squared? Pentium Pentium?
  • Very Aggressive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JM ( 18663 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:07PM (#3598564) Homepage
    A university I know is building a 1000-node Beowulf (yeah, I said the B word) and called both Intel and AMD.

    Intel dispatched a suit and an engineer right away, and was very aggressive on price.

    They're still waiting for the AMD guy to show up.

    I think Intel is trying to push every resource it can to dominate the market, and they had very good results so far.

    AMD: Wake Up! ;-)
    • Re:Very Aggressive (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mattdm ( 1931 )
      I don't understand why they called the chip makers -- wouldn't it be more appropriate to call a systems vendor? It's not like you take a bunch of CPUs, put them in a pile, and have Beowulf cluster.
      • Lemme see... you want 1000 machines, probably dual or even quad cpu, so 2000-4000 processors. Isn't that big enough to deal with the chip manufacturer?

        Imagine the PR that the chip manufacturer would have by powering the biggest supercomputer in Canada.

        Do you really want to call a systems vendor that's gonna charge you an arm and a leg to integrate your systems?

        This is a University... they have all the brains and students to build it, just ship them a truckload of CPUs, Motherboard and cases, they'll save a million or two.
        • Imagine the PR that the chip manufacturer would have by powering the biggest supercomputer in Canada.

          AFAIK, the biggest supercomputer in Canada is here [ec.gc.ca] and it's built by NEC (SX-5)
    • Intel dispatched a suit and an engineer right away

      Huh? Do Intel engineers usually go to work naked?

      :)
    • That's probably because intel makes systems, and AMD doesn't. A pile of chips doesn't make a cluster.
  • Unrealized speed (Score:2, Interesting)

    by essdodson ( 466448 )
    Hopefully as price drops and more people purchase the pIV chip the power of the chip will become more and more applicable. At first look the pIV may look like a bomb, a dud, a slow chip. But, the chip has great potential which is yet to be realized. As more and more applications are made available which are optimized for the pIV we'll really start to see this chip shine.

    • by ncc74656 ( 45571 )
      As more and more applications are made available which are optimized for the pIV we'll really start to see this chip shine.

      That does absolutely nothing to improve the performance of older apps that you might have...apps for which you might well have forked over a considerable amount of money. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if, in those early benchmarks, the P4 had been able to at least keep up with the P!!!, let alone the Athlon. In particular, I recall how people ragged on the K6-series processors for their FPU performance. I wonder why similar noise hasn't been made regarding the P4's subpar x87 FPU performance.

      Cheaper prices are all good, but I still don't see any reason to switch away from AMD.

    • Hopefully as price drops and more people purchase the pIV chip the power of the chip will become more and more applicable. At first look the pIV may look like a bomb, a dud, a slow chip. But, the chip has great potential which is yet to be realized. As more and more applications are made available which are optimized for the pIV we'll really start to see this chip shine.

      I'm sure you have a heart full of hope when you say that, but don't hold your breath. Speaking as a developer, you get much bigger increases from across the board optimizations than twiddling around with chip specific tweaks. It just doesn't pay off. "When the code is optimized for processor XXX" has been a standard line since the Pentium II days, and it just hasn't been true in practice. Heck, nobody is optimizing for the Pentium III yet!
  • Software Companies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GNUman ( 155139 )
    Will software companies ever get to do this, they seem to be always charging more for their work... and it's cheaper to copy a CD than to copy a processor...

    Then again, that's a two way blade, it's easier for people to pirate their software than to pirate their chips...
  • ...you win!

  • Good News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:10PM (#3598600)
    Aren't Intel's prices almost twice as much as AMD's already for mostly equivalent processors? I take this to mean that Intel has decided that AMD is now a veritable threat and as such is no longer pricing like they are the only option. This will take a chunk out of AMD's sales for sure (even if they make similar price cuts) but I suspect that its main purpose will be that knowledgable comsumers will now consider Intel a viable option again.
  • by Seth Finkelstein ( 90154 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:10PM (#3598601) Homepage Journal
    ... it'll be interesting to see what happens to the prices of the competing AMD offerings.

    From more coverage at ZDNET [com.com]:

    Advanced Micro Devices, Intel's rival in processors, will likely cut prices to match Intel's cut. AMD typically announces price cuts a day or so after Intel. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is also expected to soon release "Thoroughbred," a faster version of its Athlon chip, made on the 130-nanometer manufacturing process, for desktop computers. The company is currently shipping the chip to PC makers, a spokesman confirmed, and will release the chip to the public shortly.

    Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

    • For pity's sake, finally someone refers to the manufacturing process as 130-nanometre. (or meter).


      I was wondering when we'd stop seeing .13 micron, etc.

      ...a faster version of its Athlon chip, made on the .00013-millimetre manufacturing process...


      :)


      -Cruz

  • I'd love to upgrade my CPU, but I've got one of these Slot A things that Intel abandoned so many years ago.

    So really, to upgrade my CPU, I need to get a new motherboard. To get a new motherboard, I probably need to get a new case & power supply, maybe some new RAM... and hell, at that point I might as well get a new computer and plug in some of my old peripherals.

    Either way I'm out $500-1000 ... think I'll just stick with my Celeron 366, it functions well enough...

    • Slot A was the first packaging for the 0.25 and 0.18u AMD Athlon CPUs, soon abandoned in favor of Socket A, still in use today.

      What you actually have is a Slot 1 motherboard.
    • by Jimmy_B ( 129296 ) <slashdot&jimrandomh,org> on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:20PM (#3598666) Homepage
      So really, to upgrade my CPU, I need to get a new motherboard. To get a new motherboard, I probably need to get a new case & power supply, maybe some new RAM... and hell, at that point I might as well get a new computer and plug in some of my old peripherals.
      You shouldn't need to replace your case and power supply, unless you have an old AT case (ATX is now standard). As for complaining about buying a new motherboard and RAM...well, it'd be stupid to put a fast, new CPU in a machine with 66MHz RAM, so really, you just keep the motherboard, CPU, and RAM together. You don't have to upgrade your video card, hard disks or monitor (all similarly expensive components) if you don't want to.
      Either way I'm out $500-1000 ... think I'll just stick with my Celeron 366, it functions well enough...
      If it does function for what you do with it, fine, keep it. But the high end is lead by early-adopters who buy hardware so they can run games, and an old PC won't cut it for those. You're not in the market this is targeted at.
      • You shouldn't need to replace your case and power supply

        Actually, that's not true. With the P4, Intel now requires an ATX12V PSU, instead of just a "regular" ATX PSU. The main difference is the +12VDC connector on the newer PSU.

        http://www.intel.com/home/tech/components/power_su pply.htm [intel.com]

      • Well, he could keep his case, but only if he's not buying Intel, because the P4 heatsink requires a special P4-compatible case. Anyway, it's no big deal. Get a new case--a case with a modern power supply isn't much more expensive than a modern power supply alone, and you'll need one of those for sure. I recommend you buy a bare-bones system from someone. You can get decent DDR motherboard in a case with a power supply and an Athlon 1800+ starting at about $200 (+ shipping). That's not so terrible. Actually, I think this is a good time to upgrade, I mean, after the chip price cut and after a significant drop in DDR prices.

        However, if you're happy with your Celeron, hold on to it as long as it serves you and then jump straight to the Hammer. I'm sure you'll find some use for that sort of horsepower. I know three years ago nobody would have thought that you'd need anythig more than a 2GHz chip, but that's before everybody started encoding their own movies. Then, all of the sudden, the previous generation of chips, which had seemed totally adequate, just couldn't do the job. I'm not sure what we will ask of the Hammer generation, but I'm sure we'll think of something.

    • I scrapped my old computer a couple weeks ago and upgraded my processor, RAM, motherboard, and video card for around $510. Since you didn't mention a video card I'll assume you have one, mine was $240. That leaves $270 for Athlon XP 1800+, Asus A7S333 motherboard, 256 meg PC2100 DDR DIMM. Throw in a decent case/power supply and I'd say your total would come out more like $350 than $500. You might want to check Pricewatch [pricewatch.com] if you haven't lately.
    • I assume you mean slot 1.

      Actually, I did the calculations a few days ago. So I can say with confidence.
      For the record, I have P-III 450Mhz the slowest ever manufactured. It's of course, slot 1.

      There is actually an adapter from flipchip->slot 1 (http://www.pricewatch.com/1/239/2143-1.htm)($14), so you can upgrade your computer to around a gig. If you have slot 1, you most likely have 100Mhz FBS. These new pentium III have 133mhz, so you will either underclock or look for the rare 100Mhz chips. If you insist on slot one, the Pentium III 1000Ghz 100Mhz slot 1 can be attained for around $183.

      The catch is, you can't use the most recent P-III called "taulatine," I believe featuring flipchip 2 or something or the other. Taulatines include some 1.0 Ghz and all 1.13 Ghz and above.

      Now the _real_ catch is, a decent motherboard + recent AMD Athlon XP costs just as much.

      For example, this ECS-K7S5A (which is nice, because it still can use non-DDR DIMM's) costs under $60 and ATHLON 1700+ costs $110. Good deal, if you ask me.
    • Not quite so fast... you can get a slocket - slot 1 to socket - adapter cheap. I use an Abit adapter on my SuperMicro SBU with an 800 mhz celeron, a fair jump from the PII 350 it started life as.

      You want hosed, you should see my old slot 2 xeon board. It will never see anything faster than the dual 450... With slot 1, you have a chance to upgrade cheap.
    • ya but - to be out 500 or 1k will give you one kick ass machine these days. how much was your cel 366? when i worked for intel doing the celeron pushes et al - they were supposed to be the sub 1k (999.99) machines for home users. now anything over 1k is considered rather overpriced - and the machine you get is expected to be quite powerful. but for a few hundred you have the perfect gameing/workstation and in some cases server boxen you could want.

      its interesting that we now see the most expensive single components of the machine are the video card (if youre getting a nice new spiffy military grade Gf4) and the monitor (if youre getting some nice new spiffy large scale flat screen.

      I love it - I just wish the economy was good enought to give me a job so i could upgrade my slow POS 800 with a weak ass Gf2 64mb.

  • by d5w ( 513456 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:12PM (#3598619)
    If anyone actually wants this much information, here's the full pricelist [intel.com].

    The article says that Intel is attributing the price cuts to higher yields, which in turn are due to large investments in its foundries. I'm a little puzzled by this, since this is suggesting that mass-market chip cost actually has something to do with supply, whereas I'd generally assumed that most chip prices were determined by some combination of development cost and demand (i.e., you'll have enough chips; just charge as much as the market will bear and if development is expensive enough you won't have enough competition to bring the price down). The latter is almost certainly true for many server chips. How much is the price of high end mass-market chips actually determined by supply limitations these days?

    • Intel obviously doesn't want to say that the chip costs have fallen due to competition, because that would remind people that AMD exists and is usually better value than Intel. So it attributes the cut to the lower cost of manufacturing.

      Manufacturing costs are falling, of course, as is the need to recoup development costs, but this has little to do with Intel's prices. It charges whatever it thinks the market will bear (as does AMD).

  • I have bought Athlon the past two times I built a computer.

    I hate to say it, but both computers suffer from problems such as lock-ups, random reboots, and other compatability issues, especially when playing directx games. I bought the second board (and chip) because the first one did not work. I even bought the board that TomsHardware recommended as the best athlon board at the time (MSI K7-Master S).

    The AMD chip is faster, but my Intelly friends have had NONE of the problems I have had when running the very same programs. Therefore, no matter how much more it costs, or how much slower it goes, I will buy Intel in the future, and recommend that my friends do the same.

    It is a real shame, because I think the Athlon is a better chip. I just won't trust Athlon boards anymore. If they made a chip that was compatible with an Intel board, I'd buy it.
    • I have bought Athlon the past two times I built a computer.

      Maybe my emphasis points to why you are having problems :-)... j/k.

      Seriously, with all of the potential points of failure how can you know that it's not the OS, App, Cheap RAM, the Chipset, etc. Plus, I've never been a huge fan of MSI (no concrete reason). If you want rock solid stability go with Asus. I've been running on an Athlon1.2Ghz with Win2K and I have incredible uptime with the box - the only "hard" lockup I've ever had is when I tried overclocking it to 1.6Ghz just for fun. I had an Intel pII350 before that and it wasn't nearly as stable, but I can tell you that it was most likely due to my Win98 install and not the CPU. Finally, I have an old AMD K6 266 that's still running great as my MP3 server/CD Burning station. Really, with all of the "Math" bugs found in the Pentiums, and after the K6's proved AMD's stability, I don't think that there's any objective data that shows that one CPU is more stable then the other.
    • I run my studio on AMD processors and have never been happier. My XP 1700 machine has bluescreened once in its life. What OS are you running?
    • "suffer from problems such as lock-ups, random reboots, and other compatability issues"

      I'd say you have software issues. I've been running an Athlon 800 since October 2000, and it's absolutely rock solid. When I bought the machine from SYS, it ran WinME and locked up a few times a day. Less than a week later I blew ME away and replaced with 2000, everything was fine. I'm now running XP, and reboot about once a month when security patches require it.

      The processor in your machine doesn't have squat to do with compatibility. It's all about the software.
    • I hate to say it, but both computers suffer from problems such as lock-ups, random reboots, and other compatability issues, especially when playing directx games. I bought the second board (and chip) because the first one did not work. I even bought the board that TomsHardware recommended as the best athlon board at the time (MSI K7-Master S).

      The AMD chip is faster, but my Intelly friends have had NONE of the problems I have had

      Sounds like you more than likely have crappy components somewhere in your systems. I have a bunch of Athlon systems at work and one at home, and they've never given me any trouble at all. They've actually been more stable than some of the P!!! systems that we also have at work. That the Athlons are mostly systems I built myself from carefully-selected parts (chipsets involved are the AMD 760, AMD 760MPX, and nVidia nForce) and the P!!!s are mostly HP Pavilions reinforces this point.

      (The home system is a 1.0-GHz Athlon (Thunderbird) on a Biostar M7MIA with a mix of Crucial and Mushkin DDR SDRAM, ATI All-In-Wonder Radeon, 3Com 3C905C, Tekram DC315U Ultra SCSI, SIIG UDMA100, and no-name FireWire controller. Two of the work systems are 1.4-GHz Athlon XPs (1600+) on MSI K7N420 Pros with generic DDR SDRAM and onboard everything (added no-name FireWire to one and a generic RTL8139 to the other). Another work system is a dual 1.6-GHz Athlon MP (1900+) with Crucial registered ECC DDR SDRAM, ATI Radeon, integrated 3Com 3C920, and a PCI sound card. Three of the four systems run Win2K Pro SP2, while one of the nForce systems runs Linux From Scratch. I've also got the home system set up so it can load SuSE from a FireWire hard drive. Note that neither VIA nor Creative Labs appear anywhere in the descriptions above...well, the M7MIA uses the VIA 686B southbridge, but that's all, and it hasn't given me any problems. Come to think of it, the VIA chipsets I've used with various K6-* processors in the past haven't given me much grief either.)

    • Hmmm. Did you buy quality all around? Especially RAM. Sometimes when you see cut rate RAM it's because it's made with reject chips that sort of work but not to their full spec. I've seen systems with mysterious lock up problems that simply went away when quality memory was installed.
    • both computers suffer from problems such as lock-ups, random reboots, and other compatability issues

      I'm not a betting person, but if I were I'd put my money on cheap ram. Or at least, on anything but the actual processor. Fire up memtest86 [teresaudio.com] some time and let it crank through it's longest tests, and see if you don't come up with some spotty ram issues.

      It's interesting how the DIY hardware scene has changed over the years. The components that used to be no-name commodities are now becoming more critial. If building a system today, I would spend more time worrying about the brand of ram, power supply, and cooling than I ever would have five or ten years ago. It used to be that all you needed to know about ram and heatsinks was "it's 80ns" and "yeah it comes with a fan", respectively.
  • Intel shaved the price of its second-fastest processor, the Pentium 4 running at 2.4 gigahertz, by 29 percent to $400 from $562

    Yet at pricewatch the lowest price listed [pricewatch.com] for the same processor is $395. Does this mean the companies selling them below the list price are selling them at a loss or are they getting an even better deal than this?

    • I think that in the article they're probably quoting the price for the 533mhz FSB 2.4Ghz (known as the 2.4B) The pricewatch list you're looking at is for the 2.4Ghz with the 400mhz FSB. Still...that original $562 price they quoted seems way too high.

    • The way companies do business on pricewatch is by listing very low prices, then charging $20 shipping when it actually only costs $5 to ship the product. That makes the $395 become $410. This is not a huge proffit but it is not selling at a loss.
    • The press releases of Intel and AMD are always somewhat of a game. They list the "suggested retail price in quantities greater than 1000" but that's not really how it works. There's no single "retail price" of a CPU. The chipmakers are constantly negotiating deals with suppliers for large lots of CPUs. The price fluctuates a lot and is often quite a bit less than what they quote in their press releases. I think the chipmakes use this system because it allows them good inventory control which is critical with such a fast-moving market. I think it also allows them to accurately gauge demand for their products, since the pipeline for producing a chip is many months. You need good info to make the right decisions about production.
  • by Kargan ( 250092 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:16PM (#3598646) Homepage
    Okay, I was curious enough to check Pricewatch (www.pricewatch.com) and found about the same story there as I've found for the last few years.

    $395 Pentium 4 2.4GHz
    $245 Pentium 4 2.2GHz Sock 478
    $195 Pentium 4 2.0GHz Sock 478
    $173 Pentium 4 1.9GHz Sock 478

    $186 Athlon XP 2100
    $146 Athlon XP 2000
    $122 Athlon XP 1900
    $95 Athlon XP 1800

    You can get an AMD 1.53GHz for less than $100 now!!

    These price cuts by Intel are long overdue by my reckoning, and while it is a step in the right direction, they've still got a ways to go.

    Anyone wanting a CPU upgrade at this point anyway would be wise to wait a bit for the 64-bit CPU price war to begin, it's not far away at all, and then all these chips will look slow and clunky.

    • It'll be interesting to see if there is any sort of 'war'. Intel isn't going to remove the premium price tag from Itanium, so for there to be a price war some other vendor is going to have to make a 64bit chip, or Intel will have to come out with a low end (not Itanium based) 64bit chip. That would be interesting indeed.
  • It seems that Intel is redoubling its efforts to squash those upstart rebels at AMD. If Intel eventually triumphs, we are looking at a very bleak future in high performance CPUs.

    What happened to all the other high performance processors? MIPS, SPARC, PA-RISC? They are/were all attached to high-performance UNIX workstations.

    And what happened to those high-performance boxes? Ask the IT dude who's firing up his handbuilt Dual Athlon running Red Hat 7.2.

    It's bad enough that the decrepit x86 architecture has lasted this long. With only Intel around, they will extend its lifetime indefinitately, filling our lives with overheating chips that run at twice the Mhz with half the performance...

    • The others may be coming... just a little slower.

      For example, IBMs new G3 cpu (that you find in Apple iBooks) runs at 800MHz consuming less than 10W.

      The i386 instruction set forces Intel/AMD to put lots of reasearch an silicon into on-the-fly-compiling of i386-code to something RISC core can handle. This means more expensive research, more heat, higher production costs etc.

      When people realise they prefer a silent and cool machine running at 1 GHz to a noisy machine running at 3 GHz the performance advantage of todays i386 cpus may turn into a simplicity/heat disadvantage.

      MIPS R14000 at 600 MHz are shipping in SGI workstations (at prices I cant pay), those CPUs are pretty fast when it comes to floating operations (and they are native 64 bit, which means if you need like 64Gb of RAM i386 is not an option anyway). Also, you can put like 512 of those in a single machine: define high-performance ;)

      Apple ships PowerPCs at 1GHz. Hopefully something significantly faster will be presented during the summer.

    • It's bad enough that the decrepit x86 architecture has lasted this long.

      I think it's a bit of a myth that the x86 architecture has actually lasted at all, these days it's really just a way of storing instructions - the instructions themselves get converted on the fly to whatever Intel/AMD really use. Strangely, as memory bandwidth has increasingly become the scarce resource, CISC instruction sets are going to win out over RISC. Not that I'm defending x86's design, mind you.

      Dave
  • by geoffsmith ( 161376 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:20PM (#3598667) Homepage
    How they arrived at the number 53% is a little bizarre:

    Intel cut prices on its Pentium 4 processor for laptop computers by 26 percent to 53 percent

    So they just add all the price cuts they've made on the processor together to come up with 53%? What's up with that? It's not like they just dropped it 53%, they dropped it by 26%.

    Websurfing done right! StumbleUpon [stumbleupon.com]
    • The number 53% is for some mobile chip that dropper from 600$ to 300$...
    • The largest price cut was a 53% reduction in price. I think this was on the 1.7 GHz Pentium4M. It went from $508 to $241. The 26-53% is the range of pricecuts that were made (each model dropped by a different percentage).
    • Your questioning of Intel's math abilities intrigued me, so I looked into the new pricing.

      As clearly stated on the new pricing table here [intel.com], the P4M 1.5GHz dropped 26%, the P4M 1.7Ghz dropped 53%, and other P4Ms dropped between those two percentages. Clearly they were stating the range of percentages of the price drops.

      Since you might indeed be math impared yourself, I will show you how they got the 53%:

      (Orig. Price - New Price) / New Price * 100 = % Decrease
      ($508-$241)/$508*100=53%

      I hope this cleared up the issue. I don't know which is worse, one who spouts off without looking at the facts or one who just bashes a company to get karma. ;-)
      • (Orig. Price - New Price) / New Price * 100 = % Decrease

        Stating an erroneous equation for calculating percentage does nothing to I hope this cleared up the issue.

        Price changes as any other changes is calculated in relation to the original data point, NOT then new.
        How would you calculate a 100% price drop by the way?
        Do you have one of those original faulty Intel chips.
        Math Bug [sil.org] by any chance?
      • I hit the 50 karma cap ages ago. Also, bashing a company doesn't get you karma, negative comments almost always get modded down. How many Intel employees do you think read slashdot? ;-)

        I understand now it was just an ambiguous wording, when I saw "dropped 26% to 53%" I figured they meant from a previous discount of 26% to a current discount 53% for all their mobile chips. In fact they meant a varying range for all their different chips. Thanks for the clarification.
      • and here is the equation to determine if its time to upgrade based on new prices from vendors:

        (Orig. price of machine - New price of machine)= (total savings in purchasing new machine as compared to old machines original price)*(wife nagging about "why do you need a new processor, whats wrong with this machine")*(days having to go without sex for buying new machine regardless of wifes bitching)/((fun value of getting to play on new machine)*(time with wife not talking to you and you sleeping on couch anyway)) - ((kiss ass gift for wife to make up for new machine)/(one week))

        I hope this clears things up for you.. YMMV if wife = 1, see above else New machine Whoop!
  • P4 vs. PIII prices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sacremon ( 244448 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:24PM (#3598686)
    The odd thing from the price cuts is that a 2.2 MHz P4 Xeon Prestonia, w/ 512KB L2 cache, now costs $32 less than a 1.4GHz PIII Tualatin w/ 512KB L2 cache. Both of these chips are intended (by Intel) for servers/high end workstations.
    • And of course that should read GHz, not MHz. So much for previewing my posts...
    • The odd thing from the price cuts is that a 2.2 MHz P4 Xeon Prestonia, w/ 512KB L2 cache, now costs $32 less than a 1.4GHz PIII Tualatin w/ 512KB L2 cache. Both of these chips are intended (by Intel) for servers/high end workstation.

      Maybe intel is trying to phase out P3's...
      • by sacremon ( 244448 )
        Except that the Tualatin PIII's with 512KB cache are relatively new. They released them only 2-4 months ago. My thought is that marketing is the motivation, that they are trying to push the new technology, but to make a Xeon cost less than a PIII is just weird.
        • P4's consume too much power and generate too much heat. This is the reason why P3's are still used in most rackmount servers. This is why Intel is charging so much for the Tualatin 512KB P3 and so little for the P4 Xeon.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Pentium III SMP Xeons faster than P4 SMP Xeons
      http://www.theinquirer.net/25050202.htm
    • Too bad the Prestonia motherboards look pretty expensive.
  • by DeadBugs ( 546475 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:33PM (#3598744) Homepage
    Many sites [theinquirer.net] have been stating that the next price cut won't be until October. I also found it interesting that Intel is selling [theinquirer.net] some of it's stock in AMD.
  • Damnit! (Score:3, Funny)

    by curunir ( 98273 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @06:38PM (#3598767) Homepage Journal
    It would happen literally the *day* after I ordered all the parts for my new computer.

    This just ruins the feeling I get from paying significantly less for an Athlon...paying just "substantially less" is far less satisfying.
    • Ditto. Couple of days ago I ordered:

      Athlon 1700+
      Soyo-Tek SY-K7V Dragon Motherboard ($110!)
      512 MB DDR SDRAM
      Logitech WingMan Force 3D Joystick ($25!)

      Okay, so maybe that last one is unrelated to the topic.
  • The main question that I would have is.. How long will it take for the distributors to sell their stock of "expensive" chips befores cutting there prices too and as a consequence how long will it take for those price reductions to reach us? And it is much shorter for companies like Dell?
    Anyone in the industry would know?
  • by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @07:08PM (#3598951) Homepage
    In other words, you can get an i486-DX2 for $4.24 (a 53% decrease of the previous price of $8)
  • by 0xA ( 71424 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @07:08PM (#3598952)
    I admit that this might seem silly but I have never really wanted to get myself an Athlon based computer. I know too many people that have funny crases and wierd stuff happening, probably the fault of the chipset more that the processor (VIA, ewww) but still. My P3 has been great.

    So earlier today I went to look for what I would need to upgrade my system. I need CPU, RAM and a motherboard. AMD is supposed to be the price / performance king right? Comparing an Athlon 1600+ vs a P4 1.6 with roughly compareable (feature wise) MSI motherboards and 256 MB RAM I will save 55 Canadian dollars, about 30 US, with the AMD system. Before this price cut.

    So, WTF? For fifty bucks I'll buy the Intel thank you. I'll probably have that in the first 3 month's power bills anyway.

    • Power?
      I didn't know 20watts of power equated to a $10-$15USD price difference in your powerbill. I'm sure you use candles at home because 1 60watt bulb costs $30-$45 to run a month.

      So really... What percentage of the cost is 55CDN/30USD? An AMD and Intel MSI based motherboard runs about $65-$70USD on pricewatch, $81USD for an Athlon XP 1600+, $129USD for a P4 1.6 and buy a 256MB stick of DDR for $75USD so what you get is ~$226USD for AMD vs. ~$274USD for P4.

      About 20% cheaper. So by my numbers you save ~$50USD. When you're talking about 20% difference, it makes a difference.

      Flame away.
    • So earlier today I went to look for what I would need to upgrade my system. I need CPU, RAM and a motherboard. AMD is supposed to be the price / performance king right? Comparing an Athlon 1600+ vs a P4 1.6 with roughly compareable (feature wise) MSI motherboards and 256 MB RAM I will save 55 Canadian dollars, about 30 US, with the AMD system. Before this price cut.

      Note that the highest speed P4s (2.2Ghz and up) have no Athlon equivalent, yet the high end where the largest price cuts are taking place. The article says a price cut of 29% on a 2.4 Ghz P4 will occur. Does this cut affect AMD at all? Compare that to the 12% cut on a 1.7 Ghz P4. Does 12% close the gap between the P4 and Athlon? Not according to Pricewatch -- presently $85 US for the Athlon 1700+, $141 US for the P4!

      Incidentally, the cheapest price for an Athlon 1600+ on Pricewatch is $81. For the P4 1600, it's $129. That's a difference of $48 US -- a bit larger than what you suggested. And what about the difference in memory costs? Does the new "Northwood" P4 perform as well with DDR as RAMBUS, or do you need to spend a bit more and buy RAMBUS memory to get its performance up to Athlon levels?

      Also, I have to wonder if most buyers would consider power consumption or stability when buying (even though they should!) Do most buyers know anything about them at all? Even with just a $30 US difference, I bet most people would still buy the Athlon.

    • Hm... after seeing this article me and my friend started checking out processor prices at one of Poland's top 3 wholesalers.

      This is the deal: the Athlon XP 1800 costs as much as a P3-866. A Celeron 1.3/100 costs a bit more than a Athlon Thunderbird 1.4/266 chip.

      There is absolutely no reason for me to pay that price difference. None.
    • I admit that this might seem silly but I have never really wanted to get myself an Athlon based computer. I know too many people that have funny crases and wierd stuff happening, probably the fault of the chipset more that the processor (VIA, ewww) but still. My P3 has been great.

      And my AMD systems, of which I've built several, have also been great. And cost significantly less than Intel (and I say this holding Intel stock).

      The issues with problematic systems are usually due to one of two things.

      1) Cheap hardware. All components are not the same. Buy cheapo hardware, get an unstable system. The biggest factors are the motherboard, memory, and video card. Oh, and MSI is not one of the better brands for reliability.

      2) Bad drivers. Don't upgrade the drivers unless you need to -- if the system is unstable, you need to. Otherwise leave the thing alone.

      So, WTF? For fifty bucks I'll buy the Intel thank you

      Clearly this is your choice, and comfort level is a big factor in these things. But I think your prices are off.

      The below prices are from Newegg [newegg.com], which isn't the cheapest place (anymore), but I've done business with them a lot now. They have good prices, good shipping, and excellent customer support.

      Athlon Thunderbird 1600+, Retail: $79
      MSI KT3 Ultra (Via KT333) - $86
      Gigabyte GA-7VRX (Via KT333, my preference currently) - $89
      256MB DDR333 Memory (Crucial) - $83

      Total (MSI/GB) - $248/$251

      Intel P4 1.6A, Retail - $137
      MSI 6566E (Intel i845 chipset) - $90
      Gigabyte GA-8IE (Intel i845, dunno if GB is good for Intel though) - $105
      256MB RDRAM 800 MHz Memory (Corsair) - $100

      Total (MSI/GB) - $327/$342

      Difference: $79/$91 (or $145/$167 Canadian)

      That's about 3x what you said... obviously using different suppliers, and the price drop hasn't figured in yet, but still much more substantial, especially when you consider percentages.

      Could you go cheaper on the Intel system? Sure. You could use DDR instead of RDRAM. You could use a non-Intel chipset. But you've now nuked performance so much that the Athlon system is performing 20-30% faster. And it's still cheaper.

      I'm not saying don't buy Intel. Just realize that a lot of the "funny crashes" are no more than FUD, and people have just as many issues with Intel systems if they buy cheap components. If you're happy to pay the price premium for Intel for peace of mind, then that's fine. But to say that it's insubstantial is incorrect (particularly since an Athlon 1600+ is faster than a P4 1.6A on most benchmarks).
  • by Zo0ok ( 209803 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @07:08PM (#3598956) Homepage
    Last week I got ads from DELL. DELL calls their Home/Performance series of computers Dimension (while office computers are called OptiPlex and workstations are called Precision). In this ads that I got there were about 10 different Dimension models ranging from very simple (128 Mb ram, CD, On-board shared memory graphics) to top of the line (512 Mb ram, CDRW, DVD, Multiple disks, GeForce 4). The only thing the machines had in common was the CPU. The cheapest model was a 1GHz Celeron, all the others had P4 1700 MHz CPUs.

    Just a few years ago, all computer ads screamed 600MHz!!!, 1 GHz!!!, etc etc. The CPU meant everything. Today, the difference between CPUs means nothing at all for, say 90% of the users.

    Now, is it surprising Intel cuts price on their top of the line CPUs? Imagine DELL saying to Intel: "We would like more of those 1.7 GHz chips, but those are the only once we put in our computers. We dont want a single 2.2 GHz or 2.4 GHz part."

    Who would pay extra for 2.4 GHz instead of 2 GHz? People doing really heavy work knows that cache size and memory speed are the bottlenecks. Gamers know that the graphics card is the most important part. In fact, A P4 system would not be very much faster even if all instructions took zero time, other things determine the speed of the computer.

    And to make it all worse, those old 450s and 733s that people bought a few years ago, why should they change them for a newer system?

    • And to make it all worse, those old 450s and 733s that people bought a few years ago, why should they change them for a newer system?

      I agree... I built a 900mhz AMD TBird over a year ago and have no drive to buy anything better. After getting an ATI Radeon 8500 (...yea yea yea, lets not get into an arguement about the vid card now...), putting in 640megs of pc133 sdram (mobo doesnt support ddr), I am more than satisfied with normal use and even graphic intense gaming (ever play Ghost Recon and you know what I mean). The only think that I would upgrade for is when I do renders in 3dmax, but I don't do it enough to spend a couple hundred on a mobo/processor/ram upgrade...
    • And to make it all worse, those old 450s and 733s that people bought a few years ago, why should they change them for a newer system?

      ...especially since the 700 in my laptop works just fine, even running big, slow Java IDEs for 12 hours a day...

  • Amd Chips (Score:2, Funny)

    by dolby2 ( 196255 )
    I could never buy intel chips takes a lot longer to type intel then amd in a price seach engine. heh =-P
  • by Brian Stretch ( 5304 ) on Tuesday May 28, 2002 @08:51PM (#3599468)
    It's that simple. If you do boneheaded things like use cheap, weak 200W power supplies like Dell uses and put one too many drives in the machine (two Seagate Barracuda IV's in the 1GHz Celeron box in this case), you'll have an unstable, flakey system (unplugging the second drive fixed that). If you don't install the current Service Pack, updates, and drivers (like Dell failed to do), you'll get an unstable Windows system (yes, I know, run Linux, but we don't have the source to everything that'd need porting).

    If you carried over your 5-year-old ATX power supply to your new Athlon system just because the plug fit and didn't buy an Athlon-certified power supply (the P4's second power plug forced upgrade spared them from that), you'll have a flakey system. If you bought a VIA chipset board (ASUS's A7V333 is great, just so y'know) and didn't install the current 4in1 driver set, you'll risk a flakey system. If you bought an Intel board because you don't like VIA and didn't check out the nVidia nForce boards (which are driving AMD's invasion of the big OEM market), you're an idiot.

    Building Athlons requires slightly more skill than building an Intel-based system. If you can't handle it, go buy a prebuilt system from someone who can [micronpc.com].
    • A quality 200W power supply is better than a lousy 300W power supply. Dell makes a quality 200W power supply. That is, Dell wrote a specification calling for a quality power supply that some company (probably in Asia) meets.

      I have 2 machines: A Dell Dimension 4100 w/ PIII and a 200W power supply and two 7200 IDE drives. My other machine is a newly built Athlon box-- I bought quality RAM (Samsung) and a quality 300W PS (Enermax). It also has 2 7200 drives. Guess which one is more stable?? Yep, the Dell.

  • ...timed for the launch of the t-bred (AthlonXP on 13-um process).

    Intel 2.66GHz and 2.6GHz P-4s are already on pricewatch (alternatively for 400Mhz and 533Mhz FSB). Only $633! Such a deal!
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday May 29, 2002 @02:09AM (#3600620) Homepage
    The Intel Itanium is unchanged at $4,227 (!). And that's for 800MHz. You get a 4MB cache, but still, that's incredibly high. The Itanium was slower than the equivalent IA-32 machines when it launched (at 733MHz), and has been losing ground since. Inaniums are made only in the older 0.18 micron technology, too.

    That's significant. Intel's "processor of the future" is only made in the old fab. That's a strong indication that the Itanium is moving to the back burner.

    The next generation Itanium is supposed to launch at 1GHz this summer. Meanwhile, Intel has demoed a 5GHz Pentium 4, although that's a year or two from production.

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