Intel's Pentium 4 Extreme Edition launch set for Monday

Intel plans to launch its new Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor Monday, a source familiar with Intel's plans said Thursday.

The chip was first announced at the Fall Intel Developer Forum in September, and widely viewed as a response to Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s Athlon 64 and Athlon FX launch the following week. The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is a reconfigured Xeon server chip designed to work in a desktop, analysts said following that announcement.

It will come with 2M bytes of Level 3 cache, just like Intel's Xeon chips, and will make its debut at a clock speed of 3.2GHz, Intel said in September.

High-end gamers are the primary target for the chip, and PC vendors will have models ready go to as of Monday's launch, the source said. Pricing information was not immediately available, but the chip is expected to be Intel's most expensive desktop processor by a significant margin.

An Intel spokeswoman declined to comment on the launch date of the processor.

The Pentium 4 Extreme Edition is expected to carry the performance banner for Intel until the launch of Prescott, the 90-nanometer version of the Pentium 4. Prescott is expected to launch this quarter, but systems with the chip probably won't be available in time for the important holiday shopping season.

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