Keeping up with AMD
According to Intel's Desktop CPU Forecast 1999
, Intel originally priced the Pentium III 600 at $824. Well, it's August 2nd and the P3-600 can be found for under $700. What gives?
Unless you've been under a rock for the past month, you know that AMD's Athlon (K7) processor is the real deal. Clock for clock, it's the first AMD processor that can match or beat Intel's top of the line processor. Intel saw the K7 threat on the horizon, and moved up the release date of the P3-600. Intel had to have a processor that could at least match the Athlon in clock speed. Of course, Intel also had to drop the P3-600's price to compete with the $699 price tag on the 600MHz Athlon. Due to the Coppermine delay, we might even see a Pentium III 650 using the aging .25 micron manufacturing process.
Coppermine is the code name for Intel's next generation Pentium III processor core. It's very similar to the current Pentium III Katmai core, with a couple important changes. Coppermine will use the .18 micron manufacturing process, and include 256KB of L2 cache on-die. We'll also see a 133MHz FSB.
The .18 micron manufacturing process will allow for higher clock speeds, and the on-die cache is similar to the Celeron's 128KB of cache on-die. The cache will run at full clock speed. Currently, the external P3 processor cache only runs at 1/2 of the core clock speed. Originally planned for September, Intel has pushed back the official release date to November.