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Intel launches faster Pentium 4 chips

Intel has added four new chips to its line of Pentium 4 desktop processors, including the fastest model released by the company to date, the 2.8GHz Pentium 4.

The company has also slashed the price of what previously was its fastest chip, the 2.53GHz Pentium 4, by 62%

The new additions to Intel's flagship processor lineup include 2.66GHz, 2.6GHz and 2.5GHz models alongside the top-end chip.

The 2.8GHz Pentium 4 costs $508 (£333) in quantities of 1,000, a standard pricing measure for chips, Intel said. The 2.66GHz and 2.6GHz models are both priced at $401 (£263) with the 2.5GHz chip priced at $243 (£159). The 2.8GHz Pentium 4 and the 2.66GHz Pentium 4 both employ a 533MHz front-side bus while the front-side bus used with the 2.6GHz and 2.5GHz chips runs at 400MHz. All four chips are manufactured using a 0.13-micron process.

The 533MHz front-side bus increases the bandwidth between the processor and the chipset in a PC, allowing more data to be moved back and forth and increasing performance.

Prior to the official announcement of its release, all four new Pentium 4 processors appeared for sale in Tokyo's Akhihabara district over the weekend.

The 62% price cut levied on the existing 2.53GHz Pentium 4 makes the chip cheaper than the 2.4GHz model, which remains priced at $400, and makes it comparable in cost to the 2.26GHz and 2.2GHz models.

Intel's announcement follows the release by rival processor maker Advanced Micro Devices of the new Athlon XP 2400+ and Athlon XP 2600+ processors.

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