Intel Drops Desktop CPU Prices

This week, microprocessor giant Intel performed its almost monthly impersonation of "Crazy Eddie" when the company slashed prices on all its CPUs designed for desktop computers. The price cuts, which reach almost 19 percent for some models, affect the Celeron, Pentium III, and Pentium 4 microprocessors. The move seems to be an attempt to revive slowing PC sales; Intel's chips power the vast majority of desktop PCs. "Our strategy is to align the prices of the individual products to the individual markets," an Intel spokesperson said yesterday.

The biggest price cuts affect the Celeron line, which Intel originally designed for low-end PCs. In lots of 1000, the 800MHz Celeron's price fell 19 percent--from $138 to $112. The 766MHz version dropped 8 percent--from $112 to $103. For the mid-level Pentium III, a 1GHz chip is now $241, compared to its previous price of $268. The 933MHz Pentium III fell to $225 from $241.

Even the high-end Pentium 4 saw a price cut, albeit a small one. The 1.5GHz version fell about 1 percent--from $644 to $637. The 1.4GHz part fell from $440 to $423, while the 1.3GHz version dropped from $336 to $332. These price cuts come just 2 months after the previous adjustment, which occurred in January. Intel used to cut prices quarterly, but competition from AMD and a slowing PC market have caused the company to step up its pricing efforts.

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