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Intel’s Pentium 4 processors 600-series have sneaked into the market ahead of launch as several online stores in the USA and numerous retailers in Japan started to sell the chips hours ago. The situation may mean that Intel Corp. will launch the products officially in days and will not experience any issues with availability of the new chips.

Stores Offer to Buy Intel Pentium 4 Processors 6xx

Intel Pentium 4 processors series 600 are positioned for high-end and performance-mainstream market segments in Q1 2005. The new microprocessors are based on the Prescott 2M core that brings 2MB L2 cache and feature Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology, which provides Intel's long-expected 64-bit capability on desktops; Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) as well as Execute Disable Bit (EDB) capability. The whole lineup of Intel Pentium 4 600-series chips is expected to contain models 630, 640, 650 and 660 that are to be clocked at 3.00GHz, 3.20GHz, 3.40GHz and 3.60GHz respectively.

The new processors are intended for infrastructure supporting 800MHz Quad Pumped Bus. Intel Pentium 4 processors 630, 640 and 650 are compatible with mainboards sporting Intel’s 04A Platform Compatibility Guide (PGC), e.g., they have Thermal Design Power (TDP) of 84W; Top-of-the-range Intel Pentium 4 processor model 660 complies to 04B PGC, which means that the chip may have TDP of up to 115W, as previously expected.

In the U.S. at least four online stores – CompSource Inc., CompuVest, Newegg.com and ZipZoomFly.com – were selling Intel Pentium 4 processors models 640, 650 and 660 for $295 - $314, $447 – $472, $635 – $704 respectively at press time. At least 16 stores in Tokyo, Japan, were also selling Intel Pentium 4 models 630, 640, 650 and 660 central processing units (CPUs), according to Akiba PC Hotline.


Photo by Akiba PC Hotline

According to certain market sources, Intel’s Pentium 4 processors 600-series are unlikely to offer much higher performance compared to today's Intel Pentium 4 processors 500-series with similar core speeds. However, 64-bit and EDB capabilities may offer customers some additional useful functionality, while EIST is designed to compensate extensive heat-dissipation of Intel Pentium 4 chips at 90nm process technology.

Capabilities Instead of Clock-Speed

High-end Intel Pentium 4 processors 6xx are to fill the gap of the discontinued Intel Pentium 4 processor 4.00GHz. The chips are currently projected to be introduced in late February. It is unclear, when Intel Corp. starts to ship the new products for revenue.

Intel initially intended to launch its Intel Pentium 4 chip at 4.00GHz clock-speed in the fourth quarter of 2004, which was a highly-advertised and discussed introduction. Then, in Summer 2004, the company said it changed its plans and will release the 4GHz microprocessor in volume only in the first quarter 2005 citing volume, quality and reliability questions. In Fall 2004, the company said it would not launch the 4.0GHz Pentium 4 chip on the Prescott core, the latest architecture that powers Intel’s desktop chips, at all.

“We have begun providing direction to our customers on our platform-centric plans that reflect two clear priorities: multi-core products along with key silicon and platform technologies ranging from larger cache products to a family of user-centric technologies we call ‘the Ts’,” Intel’s spokesman George Alfs told X-bit labs at that time.

“[The focus is on] a mix of performance and features. Sometimes the benefits will be more along the lines of ease of use, connectivity, responsiveness, bandwidth, security, etc. Features that really help users with everyday computing and hopefully make computers easier to use. Also we will continue to work with the software community on threading, something we have started with Hyper-Threading technology and that dual-core will be able to take advantage of,” said Intel Corp.’s official.

Intel Corp.’s officials did not comment on the current news-story.

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