AUCKLAND (11/03/2003) - Customers and resellers thinking about buying new Pentium 4 CPUs may be wise to hold off until next week because new Intel Corp. CPUs will give twice the L3 cache for the same money.
New Zealand PC World has learnt that Intel is releasing a new range of Pentium 4 CPUs with 1M byte of level 3 (L3) cache. These will replace the existing 512K-byte Pentium 4 processors and look set to arrive at clock speeds of 3.0GHz, 3.2GHz and 3.4GHz, and possibly be named "Pentium 4E".
The new CPUs are said to be 2M-byte parts that have failed testing at rated clock speeds. Intel then disables half the L3 cache, and retests the CPU with only 1M-byte active. Bumping up the high-speed L3 cache size provides a substantial performance increase, and helps Intel to fend off the challenge from AMD's Athlon64 and FX-51 processors.
Intel distributors in New Zealand, including Ingram Micro, have already published pricing on the new processors, which is in line with the cost of the previous generation CPUs. Availability is said to be "soon". The 1M-byte L3 Pentium 4s are expected to be announced at the same time as or just after the 2M-byte Extreme Edition part -- Tuesday in the U.S.
Intel Asia-Pacific was approached for comment, but didn't reply before publication.