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Sources close to Intel reported the company’s plans to ship the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processors next week. Systems powered by the new Pentium 4 chip with 2MB L3 cache and 3.20GHz core-clock are expected to emerge also next week.

Firstly unveiled during IDF Fall 2003 in San Jose, the new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition CPU is based on the server core known under Gallatin code-name. The processor, however, only boasts with additional cache, but does not support SMP. The new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is fully compatible with existing Socket 478 infrastructure and 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus. With 512KB of L2 cache and 2MB of L3 cache, Intel wants to offer an alternative to AMD’s high-end Athlon 64 processors with 1MB of L2 cache that has been available for about a month time now.

In case the reports from various sources are correct and the chip is to be priced at $925 in quantities starting from 1000 units, its retail pricing will be about $1000, even higher than we originally suggested.

According to plans issued by Intel to some of its customers earlier this year, mid-November was intended to be the launch timeframe for Prescott processor. But since the Pentium 4 with SSE3 manufactured at 90nm process is delayed till the first quarter next year, Intel’s premier chip in 2003 will be the Extreme Edition of the original Pentium 4 processor produced using 0.13 micron technology.

For performance comparison between the Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition and AMD Athlon FX-51 CPUs, check our article named “AMD Athlon 64 FX-51 vs. Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.2GHz: Clash of Strong Wills”.

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