Price Guides March 2005: Processorsby Kristopher Kubicki on March 27, 2005 11:45 AM EST
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Intel Pentium 4Considering the constant delays in the release of processors (or video card, or hard drive, or just about anything else computer related), we were pleasantly surprised when Intel’s Pentium 6xx lineup debuted ahead of schedule, complete with EIST, 2MB of L2 cache and EM64T. Unfortunately for Intel, however, performance was relatively mixed bag without any clear indication that doubling the L2 cache would put the performance of the 6xx (Prescott 2M) SKUs ahead of their similarly clocked 5xx brethren.
Of course, there were some applications that were able to utilize Intel’s extended cache; primarily, Maya’s rendering benchmark in SPECviewperf 8 demonstrated clear advantage in favor of the Prescott 2M.
The immediate introduction of the Prescott 2M actually raised prices in some instances; most notably the Pentium 4 560 [RTPE: BX80547PG3600E]. As you can see from the day by day plot of vendor prices, the 3.2GHz Prescott suffers a serious price increase mid-February and we are still recovering from the fluctuation.
Other Pentium 4 Socket 775 processors experienced similar trends, although we account for some of that to the gradual phase out of the non-NX processors. All Socket 775 processors denoted with a “J” suffix are processors with XD/NX capability, and most merchants seem to interchange processors with these capabilities for vanilla versions of the processor. In the next few weeks, any new Socket 775 processor available for purchase will be a “J” variety processor, so pretty soon, you won’t have a choice. All 6xx processors have the XD technology already enabled.
As an unrelated side note, don’t be surprised if “Pentium 4” processors lose their moniker for a “Pentium D” name instead – like the Celeron D, the D denotes Desktop. We have seen indication of this name change on various roadmaps, but the change will only be cosmetic and affect a few retail boxes; SKUs will remain the same.