The part drops 33 per cent from $401 to $ 268 when bought in quantities of 1,000. The chip maker said that the move would only affect the 233MHz speed device and was being made " in response to customer requests to establish entry-level Pentium II processor-based systems" in the January-March quarter of this year. Sub-£1,000 Pentium II desktops are already available from a few low-cost vendors but the Intel move will allow even big-margin players like IBM and Compaq to add that boast.
An Intel spokeswoman said that Pentium II will be the only processor Intel uses in mainstream desktops and servers by the end of 1998. "This signals Pentium II covering top to bottom in 1998," she said. The only exceptions will be 'lean clients' that use the Pentium 'Classic' chip, and some mobile PCs which will continue to use a mobile-optimised version of the Pentium MMX.
The next round of Intel cuts is expected late this month.