Intel Pentium III 866, 850

by Anand Lal Shimpi on March 20, 2000 12:24 AM EST

Another CPU release from Intel? 

It hasn’t even been two weeks since Intel “released” their 1GHz Pentium III in limited quantities to select OEMs and today they’re back with yet another processor launch.  More than a few members of the industry have become disgusted with the current state of affairs in the CPU industry, especially with the clock speed battle going on between Intel and AMD. 

If you recall, Intel’s 1GHz Pentium III announcement was in direct response to AMD’s 1GHz Athlon announcement just two days earlier.  Need proof that it was in direct response to that announcement?  Because unlike AMD, who was launching 900 and 950MHz Athlon parts alongside their 1GHz chips, Intel jumped straight from the Pentium III 800EB to the new 1GHz parts leaving a huge gap in clock speed, something that is completely irregular for Intel.  

The 1GHz Pentium III was launched earlier than expected, but in spite of that, Intel chose to stick to their release schedule for the rest of their Pentium III line because those processors, unlike the 1GHz CPUs, were to be made available to the general public, not only Dell, HP and IBM. 

In order to fill the gap between the Pentium III 800EB and the Pentium III 1GHz, Intel is continuing with the release of their 850 and 866MHz versions of the Pentium III processor. 

For the first time since Q3-99, Intel will be releasing a Pentium III CPU without pushing AMD to release a competing product.  Why?  Because AMD has already announced their 850 – 950MHz parts, thus completing their Athlon line with a total of 11 processors running at 500MHz all the way up to 1GHz in 50MHz steps. 

In essence, Intel is playing catch-up with these two parts being announced today.

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