Only 3 new Desktop CPUs this year

In 2002 Intel released an incredible 7 CPUs for the desktop, but believe it or not, you're only going to see three more CPUs between now and the end of the year.

As we mentioned in our last Intel Roadmap update, the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 is next up to bat and it will be the last 0.13-micron Northwood processor before Prescott. The 3.2GHz Northwood Pentium 4 will continue to be the fastest thing from Intel even through Q3 2003, before Prescott's release in Q4.

We've described Prescott in great detail in previous articles, so here's some information on it if you're a bit rusty on the specs and benefits of Intel's first 90nm CPU:

Things don't heat up until Q4, when we see the long awaited introduction of the Prescott core. Right now Intel is the unequivocal performance leader on the desktop, but what do users of the fastest CPUs today have to look forward to? Prescott of course. We've been preaching for months that Prescott would be the next CPU to upgrade to (much like we suggested waiting on migrating to the Pentium 4 until the Northwood core was released), and that time is almost upon us.

The Prescott core will be introduced at two clock speeds - 3.2GHz and 3.4GHz. The 3.2GHz part will obviously overlap with the forthcoming 3.2GHz Northwood part, while the 3.4GHz speed will be a Prescott-only core. The other thing to keep in mind is that both of these CPUs are still Socket-478 parts, you won't see the first Socket-775 CPUs until Q2 2004, which we will talk about next.

The 3.4GHz Prescott will close off 2003, but in Q1 '04 we'll see another speed bump to 3.60GHz. This 3.60GHz processor will be the one to stay away from, because it is still a Socket-478 CPU. In the following quarter, Q2 '04, Intel will introduce a Socket-775 LGA version of the 3.60GHz Prescott processor as well as 775-pin versions of the 3.2/3.4GHz Prescott processors.

There is a chance that we will see a 3.80GHz Prescott core in Q2 '04 as well, however that will largely depend on how much competition Intel is faced with. If you recall, the major difference between 2002 and 2003 is that for the majority of 2002, AMD was a much more potent competitor. We will have to wait and see how the launch of the Athlon 64 goes before determining how big of a threat AMD will be going forward on the desktop side. One thing is for sure though; it's going to take a lot more than 64-bit support for AMD to pull sales away from Intel on the desktop side.

Index Grantsdale & Socket-775
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