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Intel Corp. is reportedly preparing to launch Pentium 4 processors with 2MB L2 cache in the first quarter next year, some sources reported Wednesday. Unlike current desktop chips with large caches, the forthcoming microprocessors will be priced at more affordable levels.

As reported, later during this year Intel is to launch its Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz processor with 2MB L2 cache and 1066MHz processor system bus. The chip will be positioned for ultra high-end computers and will be priced comparably to Extreme Edition products that exist today and ship for $925 - $999 in mass quantities.

Current Extreme Edition processors are based on code-named Gallatin core intended for servers and feature 2MB Level 3 cache, future chips will have 2MB Level 2 cache and will sport Prescott architecture.

PC Watch web-site reports that Intel is likely to offer Intel Pentium 4 processors with 2MB L2 cache not only at premium price-point, but also to high-end and performance mainstream customers in Q1 2005. The chips will be clocked at 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz, 3.60GHz and 3.80GHz and will be intended for infrastructure supporting 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus and TDP of up to 115W. Like all Intel’s latest central processing units, the new chips code-named Prescott 2M will be branded with model numbers, e.g., Pentium 4 640, Pentium 4 650, Pentium 4 660 and Pentium 4 670.

Intel Pentium 4 processors based on Prescott 2M core will feature eXecute Disable (XD) technology that is sometimes referred as NX bit as well as AAC technology that adjusts performance depending on load in order to maintain low heat dissipation and quiet operation of personal computers, some call the AAC as EIST (Enhanced Intel Speed Step). Some Pentium 4 processors with 1MB L2 will also offer XD and AAC.

Sources close to Intel said the chips with 2MB cache will be priced at $872, $637, $417 and $278 for 3.80GHz (670), 3.60GHz (660), 3.40GHz (650) and 3.20GHz (640) versions in that order.

Intel Pentium 4 with 1MB and 2MB L2 Cache Presumable Pricing, Q1 2005

Pentium 4, 2MB L2 Model

Clock Speed

PSB

Price

Pentium 4, 1MB L2 Model

Clock Speed

PSB

Price

Intel Pentium 4 720

3.73GHz

1066MHz

$925~$999

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Intel Pentium 4 580J*

4.00GHz

800MHz

$872

Intel Pentium 4 670

3.80GHz

800MHz

$872

Intel Pentium 4 570J

3.80GHz

800MHz

$637

Intel Pentium 4 660

3.60GHz

800MHz

$637

Intel Pentium 4 560(J)

3.60GHz

800MHz

$417

Intel Pentium 4 650

3.40GHz

800MHz

$418

Intel Pentium 4 550(J)

3.40GHz

800MHz

$278

Intel Pentium 4 640

3.20GHz

800MHz

$278

Intel Pentium 4 540(J)

3.20GHz

800MHz

$218

*J stands for AAC and XD technologies

The web-site also notes that Intel’s plans to introduce 4.00GHz processor in Q1 2005 remain unaffected and the chip called Pentium 4 580 will emerge in quantities according to Intel’s promises.

Intel’s officials did not comment on the story.

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