Intel Corp. confirmed today an earlier EBN report that it is introducing a special 815EP chipset that only includes external graphics capability. By disabling the integrated graphics function that the other 815 versions have, the new version will sell for about 10 percent lower price than the current 815e.
Intel said in quantities of 1000 the 815ep is priced at $34.50 each.
The 815EP was quietly introduced on an Intel web site: http://developer.intel.com/design/chipsets/815ep The firm made no press announcement of the new chipset version, with a spokeswoman explaining that the 815ep would primarily be of interest to game and graphic application developers who want the external graphics capability without paying extra for integrated graphics they don't need.
Except for dropping the integrated graphics function, the new version has all the features of the 815 family, including PC133 SDRAM capability, APG4X, ATA100, and the enhanced I/O Controller Hub (ICH2).
As widely expected, Intel today also unveiled two new Celeron processors at 733-MHz and 766-MHz clock speeds, the fastest yet for its value space MPU. AMD last month upped the speed grade for its Duron value-end processor to 800-MHz, putting pressure on Intel's Celeron. AMD is hard pressed to take advantage of its Duron speed lead because it is at full capacity in its microprocessor fabs in Austin and Dresden, Germany, and is reportedly selling all the MPUs it can build.
According to NPD Intelect, a Port Washington, N.Y. analyst, Intel holds a 90 percent share in the sub-$1,000 PC space in the U.S. retail market.
Additional reporting by Mark Hackman of Techweb