Intel Pentium III 1.2GHz 0.13-micron Tualatin: The Celeron of the Futureby Anand Lal Shimpi on July 30, 2001 3:30 AM EST
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It’s not too little, too late, but it’s definitely too late. Unfortunately a die shrink isn’t an easy thing to implement, so the tardiness of the 1.2GHz Pentium III is easily understandable. The price Intel is asking for the processors, although understandable from a marketing standpoint, makes obtaining a desktop Pentium III 1.2 very undesirable. The performance of the Pentium III 1.2 is respectable, and it’s clear that in the mobile market it will be competitive with the Athlon 4, but on the desktop the price is entirely too prohibitive.
It wasn’t by accident that the Pentium III 1.2 that happens to be able to outperform a 1.5GHz Pentium 4 in many cases will be priced at twice the cost of that very CPU which it outperforms. By the end of this year, the Pentium III will be gone, replaced by the Pentium 4 in every way imaginable. When coupled with the SDRAM and DDR SDRAM chipsets from Intel and VIA, the Pentium 4 will be more affordable and thus more desirable than the Pentium III forcing the brand that has been with us since early 1999 out the door. This is time to say goodbye to the bunny people that brought us the Pentium III and welcome the blue men that embrace the Pentium 4. Obviously this transition will take a bit longer in the mobile market, but the same fate lies in the future of the mobile Pentium III.
This Tualatin based Pentium III will live on in spirit at least, as Intel is set to debut a 1.2GHz Celeron by the year’s end based on a variant of this 0.13-micron Tualatin core. It would be a return to fame if the Celeron were to gain all of the benefits of this Tualatin core, but it will most likely debut in a crippled state offering nothing more than higher clock speeds. We all know about the “clock speed sells” mentality so it’s obvious that the Celeron will use the Tualatin core for its ability to provide what sells, and not what performs well.
As for the future of Intel’s mainstream desktop processors, they lie in the hands of the Pentium 4. And the Pentium 4 does have a very exciting future ahead of it in these final months of 2001. There’s a reason AMD has announced production of 0.13-micron Athlons by the end of this year…