Intel last launched a new Celeron processor on 15 May, when it put a 1.7GHz version of the chip on sale. This chip features a faster front-side bus than previous chips and is based on the same core as older Pentium 4 processors. However, it comes equipped with 128Kbytes of Level 2 cache memory, which is half the capacity of previous Celeron and older P4 chips. This means the chip offers low performance, according to a PC World benchmark test.
The new 1.8GHz Celeron has a similar specification, with a 400MHz front-side bus and 128Kbyte Level 2 cache, and appeared over the weekend at one store in the Tokyo district of Akihabara where it was on sale bundled with a motherboard for ¥15,500 (£85). In comparison, the 1.7GHz chip with motherboard was on sale at the shop, PC Success, for ¥11,280 (£62).
Intel is expected to officially announce the new chip sometime over the next few weeks.
Intel's latest cuts see up to 43% taken off the price of its flagship desktop processor, the Pentium 4. The current top-of-the-range 2.53GHz version, which was introduced on 6 May, remains at $637 while prices of all other chips in the range have been reduced. For example, the 2.4GHz version with the new 533MHz front-side bus was cut from $562 to $400 while the bottom-of-the-range 1.7GHz version was reduced from $163 to $143. All prices are for chips direct from Intel in quantities of 1,000.
The largest price cuts percentage-wise were seen in the Mobile Pentium 4 range, where the price of the 1.8GHz chip fell from $637 to $348 and that of the 1.7GHz dropped by just over half, from $508 to $241. The Mobile Pentium III chips saw drops of between 9% and 18%.
Intel's Xeon processors, which are designed for use in servers, also saw price reductions. Like the Pentium 4 cuts, the fastest chip in the range was left unchanged while others were lowered. The 2.2GHz version of the chip saw its price cut from $465 to $262 and the price of other chips in the family was cut by between 10% and 27%.