The joyride is indeed coming to an end.

Well, there is no longer any doubt that the Slot One Celeron 300A is out of production. It is. Besides Intel's Product Change notification that I shared with you last week, we find that this version of the processor is not even included on the list of price cuts announced for February 7th.

The original retail version, sSPEC SL32A, has become scarcer than a sober head at a Dentists convention. Of course, Intel is now packaging the former OEM version, SL2WM for retail sale to fill the void. More on that later...

I have never seen the supply of a discontinued CPU dry up so fast! Usually, when a processor is canceled, we can count on 6 months supply or so. Not so in this case. The SL32A's disappeared in a matter of 2 weeks. It is a feeding frenzy! There are still pockets of chips available, but supply is very spotty and quantities are very small.

It has become so difficult to acquire the retails, and the later weeks of the OEM's are not commercially viable, (at least for me), as an overclock product, so I stopped taking orders for the combo deal on the 25th. This also means that this will be my last regular Celery Report. Maybe, if Anand permits, I can file periodic reports on other topics. Sort of like an "Editor at Large".

The new retail Celeron

Recently many reports began to surface of buyers who picked up a boxed processor only to find that it had the sSPEC code SL2WM. This code was, from the very beginning, the OEM version of the CPU. The original retail, as we know, was SL32A. The first thought among many, myself included, was that unscrupulous dealers were repackaging the OEM in order to grab the higher profit margin afforded the retail versions.

Well, as it turns out, it is Intel doing it. Within the last week, the listing on their web site for this chip has changed from "OEM" to "Boxed". To further add to the confusion, they actually began doing this a while back without informing most in the supply channel. I believe that this was done in order to fill the void left by diminishing supplies of "true" retails and to move out existing inventory as quickly as possible. After all, what better way to generate sales than to put the chips in that blue and white box?

This change was first brought to my attention by an astute correspondent who had purchased one of these processors. After a little research, he discovered what had happened and passed this info along to me (thanks RJ!). I then transmitted the information to many of the technical sites on the web, and it has now been widely disseminated. Even The Register has made mention of it.

So what does this mean?

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