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Intel Corp. over the weekend cut prices on its 64-bit line of desktop processors.

The Santa Clara, Calif., chip maker reduced the cost of its five single-core Pentium 4 6xx chips from 20.15 percent to 33.72 percent.

All feature 2MB of Level 2 cache and an 800MHz front-side bus, with the key difference being the frequency of the chips. The largest price cut was in the 3.6GHz Pentium 4 660, which dropped from $605 per 1,000 units shipped to $401. Pricing on the 3.4GHz 650 was slashed 31.92 percent, from $401 to $273.

The 3.8GHz 670 was cut by 28.91 percent, to $605, followed by the 3GHz 630, to $178, and the 3.2GHz 640, to $218.

Intel has begun pushing its dual-core chips, and started rolling out the capability in its Pentium line, first with the high-end Pentium Extreme Edition in April, and then with the Pentium D chip in May.

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Intel also has begun seeding servers with dual-core Xeon processors, which initially were scheduled for general availability early next year. However, Intel announced Monday that its dual-core Xeon MP processor—code-named “Paxville”—will come out later this year.

The seeding program enables potential customers to evaluate the dual-core processors in advance of the official release.

Rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc., of Sunnyvale, Calif., already has launched dual-core capabilities in its server Opteron processors and PC Athlon 64 chips.

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