P4 - New CPU cheaper than Old???

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

There is something that I just don't get.

When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs slightly more
than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being the same speed.

Ex:
Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading Boxed
Processor $179
Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper Threading
Boxed Processor $178

Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache cpu
more?
The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs hotter.

Input Needed,
Mr Koko
11 answers Last reply
More about cheaper
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mr Koko wrote:

    > There is something that I just don't get.
    >
    > When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs slightly more
    > than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being the same speed.
    >
    > Ex:
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading Boxed
    > Processor $179
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper Threading
    > Boxed Processor $178
    >
    > Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache cpu
    > more?
    > The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs hotter.
    >
    > Input Needed,
    > Mr Koko
    >
    >

    Well, 1 buck out of 178 isn't enough of a difference to even be 'wondering'
    but, in general, it's a combination of supply/demand and economies of scale.

    For example, most of the manufacturing will be done on the newer process,
    which means there's less capacity available for the older process. Less
    capacity = smaller volume. Less economy of scale and cost per unit goes up.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >
    > Well, 1 buck out of 178 isn't enough of a difference to even be
    > 'wondering' but, in general, it's a combination of supply/demand and
    > economies of scale.
    >
    > For example, most of the manufacturing will be done on the newer process,
    > which means there's less capacity available for the older process. Less
    > capacity = smaller volume. Less economy of scale and cost per unit goes
    > up.
    >

    I've read many professional reviews that state to avoid the Prescott core
    and buy Northwood instead. The reasoning (supposedly) is that the Prescott
    isn't faster, and the Prescott is hotter. I don't agree with those reviews
    at all. Having built a few Prescott systems, I know that the Prescott is a
    GREAT processor. If there's a heat problem with them, I haven't noticed. I
    have yet to see a Prescott even reach 120F under load. (But to be fair, I
    don't use the original Intel heatsinks.)

    Anyway, my point is, all these so-called professionals crying 'wolf' about
    the Prescott are probably the reason that the Northwood is slightly more
    expensive. I've noticed that price trend myself . . . it's been that way
    for quite a while. The price difference isn't significant, but the older
    Northwoods do tend to be a bit more. -Dave
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Dave C. wrote:

    >>Well, 1 buck out of 178 isn't enough of a difference to even be
    >>'wondering' but, in general, it's a combination of supply/demand and
    >>economies of scale.
    >>
    >>For example, most of the manufacturing will be done on the newer process,
    >>which means there's less capacity available for the older process. Less
    >>capacity = smaller volume. Less economy of scale and cost per unit goes
    >>up.
    >>
    >
    >
    > I've read many professional reviews that state to avoid the Prescott core
    > and buy Northwood instead. The reasoning (supposedly) is that the Prescott
    > isn't faster, and the Prescott is hotter. I don't agree with those reviews
    > at all. Having built a few Prescott systems, I know that the Prescott is a
    > GREAT processor. If there's a heat problem with them, I haven't noticed. I
    > have yet to see a Prescott even reach 120F under load. (But to be fair, I
    > don't use the original Intel heatsinks.)
    >
    > Anyway, my point is, all these so-called professionals crying 'wolf' about
    > the Prescott are probably the reason that the Northwood is slightly more
    > expensive. I've noticed that price trend myself . . . it's been that way
    > for quite a while. The price difference isn't significant, but the older
    > Northwoods do tend to be a bit more. -Dave

    Perhaps. That would be in the demand/supply side of the equation.

    But I wasn't doing a market survey, just answering 'how could it be?', in
    general.

    An example would be the cost/bit reversal between SDR and DDR RAM even
    though the demand for DDR is obviously way higher than for SDR nowdays. You
    just don't have much production allocated to SDR because the volume is all
    in DDR.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Dave C." wrote:

    > >
    > > Well, 1 buck out of 178 isn't enough of a difference to even be
    > > 'wondering' but, in general, it's a combination of supply/demand and
    > > economies of scale.
    > >
    > > For example, most of the manufacturing will be done on the newer process,
    > > which means there's less capacity available for the older process. Less
    > > capacity = smaller volume. Less economy of scale and cost per unit goes
    > > up.
    > >
    >
    > I've read many professional reviews that state to avoid the Prescott core
    > and buy Northwood instead. The reasoning (supposedly) is that the Prescott
    > isn't faster, and the Prescott is hotter.

    Notice that AMD's 90nm chips use less power and run cooler than its
    similar 130nm chips.

    http://techreport.com/ja.zz?comments=7417


    > I don't agree with those reviews
    > at all. Having built a few Prescott systems, I know that the Prescott is a
    > GREAT processor.

    Compared to the Celeron it is, however when you compare it to a comparably
    priced Athlon 64, the Prescott doesn't seem attractive. First notice the
    difference in power consumption. Then notice differences in performance.

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=2065&p=6

    The pentium 4 chips you are talking about are only 32 bit. Many who
    buy a 32 bit processor in '04 or early '05 will regret not having bought
    a 64 bit processor as great 64 bit software appears.

    http://www.short-media.com/review.php?r=257&p=1


    > If there's a heat problem with them, I haven't noticed. I
    > have yet to see a Prescott even reach 120F under load. (But to be fair, I
    > don't use the original Intel heatsinks.)
    >
    > Anyway, my point is, all these so-called professionals crying 'wolf' about
    > the Prescott are probably the reason that the Northwood is slightly more
    > expensive. I've noticed that price trend myself . . . it's been that way
    > for quite a while. The price difference isn't significant, but the older
    > Northwoods do tend to be a bit more. -Dave
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    The newer Prescott P4's run a LOT hotter than the older Northwoods you
    mentioned. Thus Intel is having a hard time selling the newer ones and so
    has set the pricings to sway people toward buying the less wanted newer
    CPU's.

    --
    DaveW


    "Mr Koko" <mrkoko@comcast.FISHnet> wrote in message
    news:m9CdnSi81sYN7xDcRVn-rw@comcast.com...
    > There is something that I just don't get.
    >
    > When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs slightly
    > more
    > than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being the same speed.
    >
    > Ex:
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading Boxed
    > Processor $179
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper Threading
    > Boxed Processor $178
    >
    > Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache cpu
    > more?
    > The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs hotter.
    >
    > Input Needed,
    > Mr Koko
    >
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "DaveW" <none@zero.org> wrote in message
    news:YYyjd.379983$D%.131379@attbi_s51...
    > The newer Prescott P4's run a LOT hotter than the older Northwoods you
    > mentioned. Thus Intel is having a hard time selling the newer ones and so
    > has set the pricings to sway people toward buying the less wanted newer
    > CPU's.
    >
    > --
    > DaveW
    >

    Y'know, lots of people are saying that. I've built three Prescott systems
    so far. I've run them for days without turning them off, used various
    burn-in programs, played games for hours, etc. I have yet to see a Prescott
    even reach (let alone exceed) 120F. I've read the normal operating range of
    the Northwood processors are higher than that!!! I use aftermarket HSF, but
    nothing fancy or expensive. I'm betting the only people who have heat
    problems with a Prescott are those who have screwed up in choosing or
    installing the proper HSF. Otherwise, to hear people talk about how hot the
    Prescott is, I would expect to have difficulty cooling one below about 150F
    or so. My point is, if they are hotter than Northwood, I certainly haven't
    noticed. And the Prescott processors are nowhere NEAR hot enough to cause
    cooling problems, if you know what you are doing. Following are the coolers
    I have used . . . -Dave

    http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=35-103-139&depa=0
    (this one is kind of unique in that it uses a BLOWER, but it's quiet and
    relatively cheap, if your case has room)

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=35-150-033&depa=0
    (this cheap HSF is all copper!, quiet, and will work in just about any case)
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    ................................Following are the coolers
    > I have used . . . -Dave
    >
    > http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?description=35-103-139&depa=0
    > (this one is kind of unique in that it uses a BLOWER, but it's quiet and
    > relatively cheap, if your case has room)
    >
    > http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=35-150-033&depa=0
    > (this cheap HSF is all copper!, quiet, and will work in just about any
    > case)
    >


    Pretty cool coolers, not bad price either.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Mr Koko" <mrkoko@comcast.FISHnet> wrote in
    news:m9CdnSi81sYN7xDcRVn-rw@comcast.com:

    > There is something that I just don't get.
    >
    > When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs
    > slightly more than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being the
    > same speed.
    >
    > Ex:
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading Boxed
    > Processor $179
    > Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper
    > Threading
    > Boxed Processor $178
    >
    > Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache
    > cpu more?
    > The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs
    > hotter.
    >
    > Input Needed,
    > Mr Koko
    >
    >

    In general, for semiconductors, as a part reaches end of (production) life
    many manufacturers will increase its price to discourage continued use of
    the part. Sometimes, distributors, and other profiteers, will buy up supply
    at the wholesale level and reap the benefits as manufacturing ramps down
    (supply dwindles while demand does not) and prices go up. This may not be
    true for PC cpu's though. I tend to think that enthusiasts have created a
    demand for Northwood parts. Northwoods seem to have better press and so are
    the preferred over Prescotts, so retailers, etc., are taking advantage of
    the situation. Your basic 'Supply and Demand' situation at work.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    JS wrote:

    > "Mr Koko" <mrkoko@comcast.FISHnet> wrote in
    > news:m9CdnSi81sYN7xDcRVn-rw@comcast.com:
    >
    >
    >>There is something that I just don't get.
    >>
    >>When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs
    >>slightly more than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being the
    >>same speed.
    >>
    >>Ex:
    >> Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading Boxed
    >>Processor $179
    >> Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper
    >> Threading
    >>Boxed Processor $178
    >>
    >>Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache
    >>cpu more?
    >>The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs
    >>hotter.
    >>
    >>Input Needed,
    >>Mr Koko
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > In general, for semiconductors, as a part reaches end of (production) life
    > many manufacturers will increase its price to discourage continued use of
    > the part.

    Which, in general, would simply drive purchasers of that part to a competitor.

    > Sometimes, distributors, and other profiteers, will buy up supply
    > at the wholesale level and reap the benefits as manufacturing ramps down
    > (supply dwindles while demand does not) and prices go up.

    The problem with your theory "supply dwindles while demand does not" is
    that no one in their right mind is going to ramp down production while
    demand remains robust and profitable. It flies directly in the face of
    "supply and demand."

    The classic notion of supply vs demand price fluctuation is fine, and
    appropriate, as long as everything else remains the same (and the market is
    elastic) but, in the real world, they seldom, if ever, do. In particular,
    prices can go up in a 'perfectly matched' supply vs demand market if demand
    (and the matching supply) is decreasing because the economies of scale are
    lost. And, just as economy of scale often increases demand because more can
    buy at a lower price, losing it can depress demand as the price increases;
    which is probably what leads to the fanciful notion that it's 'purpose',
    rather than natural result, is to "discourage continued use."

    To wit, manufacturers would love to build the same thing forever because
    it's predictable. You know how it works, how to make it, what the costs are
    and all the rest whereas the 'new' thing is full of development costs and
    unpredictable problems. But you can't just keep making the same old thing
    because Mr. Competitor will come out with his 'new and improved' version to
    take market share so you have to have your 'new and improved' version in
    the works to keep even, or maybe take HIS market share. And that means,
    eventually, your manufacturing is going to transition to the 'new and
    improved' version because that's what people will be buying (unless you
    screwed up). In the process you're losing sales volume (people want the
    'new and improved') and economies of scale on the fading product till it
    just isn't worth making any more. In practice you try to predict the timing
    of that transition in your business plan so, as Murphy would have it, there
    may be unusual, transitional, 'bumps' along the way, resulting in price
    oddities, if things don't pan out precisely as planned but you don't just
    arbitrarily dump a profitable product.

    Now, if you folks would quit buying the 'new and improved' versions and be
    satisfied with P233MMXs and 32 Meg of RAM SIMMS running Windows for
    Workgroups 3.11 we wouldn't have this problem ;)

    > This may not be
    > true for PC cpu's though. I tend to think that enthusiasts have created a
    > demand for Northwood parts. Northwoods seem to have better press and so are
    > the preferred over Prescotts, so retailers, etc., are taking advantage of
    > the situation. Your basic 'Supply and Demand' situation at work.
  10. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    David Maynard <dNOTmayn@ev1.net> wrote in
    news:10ouspsa78ckcc3@corp.supernews.com:

    Let me just say at the outset that I don't disagree with your comments. I
    would like to add some additional thoughts peculiar to the semiconductor
    business. Again, some of this is not going to be 100% relevant to CPU's (or
    to other businesses for that matter).

    > JS wrote:
    >
    >> "Mr Koko" <mrkoko@comcast.FISHnet> wrote in
    >> news:m9CdnSi81sYN7xDcRVn-rw@comcast.com:
    >>
    >>
    >>>There is something that I just don't get.
    >>>
    >>>When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs
    >>>slightly more than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being
    >>>the same speed.
    >>>
    >>>Ex:
    >>> Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading
    >>> Boxed
    >>>Processor $179
    >>> Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper
    >>> Threading
    >>>Boxed Processor $178
    >>>
    >>>Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache
    >>>cpu more?
    >>>The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs
    >>>hotter.
    >>>
    >>>Input Needed,
    >>>Mr Koko
    >>>
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >> In general, for semiconductors, as a part reaches end of (production)
    >> life many manufacturers will increase its price to discourage
    >> continued use of the part.

    This is probably rare but has happened in the past. A different tactic is
    used more regularly nowadays. (See Below)

    >
    > Which, in general, would simply drive purchasers of that part to a
    > competitor.

    This is a potential issue for any business, but don't forget that I'm
    talking about 'end of life' parts and specifically about the semiconductor
    business. There is the complication that continued support of a given part
    may require continued support of an old technology. Supporting old
    technologies may be more expensive, both in terms of money and resources,
    than is economically feasible or prudent. Manufacturers frequently have to
    move to newer technologies to keep up with customer requirements and
    competitors technological advances. In fact, this happens frequently in the
    semiconductor business. So much so, that manufacturers regularly notify
    customers of impending manufacturing 'discontinuances'. These
    'discontinuances' are often referred to as 'End of Life' notices. But your
    correct in that they typically do not involve price increases per se.
    (Customers are required to place final orders though.) Another complication
    is that, in some instances, there is no competitor to turn to when the 'End
    of Life' notice is issued. Furthermore, other manufactures may also want to
    quit supporting old technologies so that they will issue 'End of Life'
    notices on their equivalent parts as well. This is relevant here because I
    believe that Intel will not attempt to support both cores for an extended
    period. Intel wants to move all it's production capacity to the new
    processes and will stop producing Northwood cores as a result of this
    desire. Prescott, and the associated newer manufacturing processes, is
    their future and continued production of Northwood cores wood use resources
    better applied to making Prescott cores. So, you can see that making
    Prescott cores less expensive may be viewed by Intel as an enticement to
    get their customers to use Prescott cores. Since there are no second
    sources for Northwood cores that is not an issue here. (I think they
    probably disregard losses to AMD processors since they probably believe
    they have a good alternative to Northwood core CPU's, namely the Prescott
    core CPU's and so losses would be insignificant or none existent.)

    >
    >> Sometimes, distributors, and other profiteers, will buy up supply
    >> at the wholesale level and reap the benefits as manufacturing ramps
    >> down (supply dwindles while demand does not) and prices go up.
    >
    > The problem with your theory "supply dwindles while demand does not"
    > is that no one in their right mind is going to ramp down production
    > while demand remains robust and profitable. It flies directly in the
    > face of "supply and demand."

    Very true, but again, in the semiconductor industry, supporting an old
    technology may be more expensive than not. Particularly if a manufacturer
    sees more profit in another (newer?) technology or part. In this case, I
    believe that a manufacturer may feel that resources should be moved to the
    newer technology or part. I do believe however that your argument is valid
    in that some 'end of life' notices, and therefore, 'end of technology'
    notices have been delayed, perhaps for years. In some cases industry
    customers have managed to exert great influence on manufactures, by keeping
    demand high and being very vocal in their discontent, on some very mature
    technologies. Many manufacturers and industry reporters have been proven
    wrong, time and again, for the very reason you state, but many mature
    technologies have gone the way of the Dodo as soon as manufacturers could
    get away with it.

    >
    > The classic notion of supply vs demand price fluctuation is fine, and
    > appropriate, as long as everything else remains the same (and the
    > market is elastic) but, in the real world, they seldom, if ever, do.
    > In particular, prices can go up in a 'perfectly matched' supply vs
    > demand market if demand (and the matching supply) is decreasing
    > because the economies of scale are lost. And, just as economy of scale
    > often increases demand because more can buy at a lower price, losing
    > it can depress demand as the price increases; which is probably what
    > leads to the fanciful notion that it's 'purpose', rather than natural
    > result, is to "discourage continued use."


    Good point, but how natural is it when a manufacturer decides to ramp down
    production in the face of steady demand. As I said previously, Intel does
    not want to support both Prescott and Northwood at the same time. Northwood
    is last years model and as such is a resource drain and a hindrance to
    forward progress. But realistically, I don't know if its Intel or the
    retail vendors pricing choices causing the Northwood prices to be higher
    than the Prescott prices. I think that it is probably the retailers
    smelling a little extra profit to be had.


    >
    > To wit, manufacturers would love to build the same thing forever
    > because it's predictable. You know how it works, how to make it, what
    > the costs are and all the rest whereas the 'new' thing is full of
    > development costs and unpredictable problems. But you can't just keep
    > making the same old thing because Mr. Competitor will come out with
    > his 'new and improved' version to take market share so you have to
    > have your 'new and improved' version in the works to keep even, or
    > maybe take HIS market share. And that means, eventually, your
    > manufacturing is going to transition to the 'new and improved'
    > version
    > because that's what people will be buying (unless you screwed up). In
    > the process you're losing sales volume (people want the 'new and
    > improved') and economies of scale on the fading product till it just
    > isn't worth making any more. In practice you try to predict the
    > timing
    > of that transition in your business plan so, as Murphy would have it,
    > there may be unusual, transitional, 'bumps' along the way, resulting
    > in price oddities, if things don't pan out precisely as planned but
    > you don't just arbitrarily dump a profitable product.

    Of course not, but sometimes the march of technology demands resources, and
    resources have to come from somewhere. You can't just keep adding a new fab
    every time something new comes out; and again, Intel wants Northwood to go
    away. Again, more profit may lay with the newer technologies than the old
    so, 'Out with the old and in with the new.'

    >
    > Now, if you folks would quit buying the 'new and improved' versions
    > and be satisfied with P233MMXs and 32 Meg of RAM SIMMS running Windows
    > for Workgroups 3.11 we wouldn't have this problem ;)

    You are so right, but I must admit I have yet to use a computer that I
    thought was fast enough. Microsoft will probably make it impossible for
    that to happen, bloat ware and all. At least I have stopped at a PIII-733,
    for now anyway.
  11. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    JS wrote:

    > David Maynard <dNOTmayn@ev1.net> wrote in
    > news:10ouspsa78ckcc3@corp.supernews.com:
    >
    > Let me just say at the outset that I don't disagree with your comments. I
    > would like to add some additional thoughts peculiar to the semiconductor
    > business. Again, some of this is not going to be 100% relevant to CPU's (or
    > to other businesses for that matter).
    >
    >
    >>JS wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>"Mr Koko" <mrkoko@comcast.FISHnet> wrote in
    >>>news:m9CdnSi81sYN7xDcRVn-rw@comcast.com:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>There is something that I just don't get.
    >>>>
    >>>>When price shopping the older .13 micron cpu w/512kb L2 costs
    >>>>slightly more than the newer 90 nanometer cpu w/1mb L2. Both being
    >>>>the same speed.
    >>>>
    >>>>Ex:
    >>>>Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 512K 800 FSB Socket 478 Hyper Threading
    >>>>Boxed
    >>>>Processor $179
    >>>>Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz E , 1MB 800 FSB Socket 478 Prescott Hyper
    >>>>Threading
    >>>>Boxed Processor $178
    >>>>
    >>>>Not that the price differs much but, why isn't the newer/ more cache
    >>>>cpu more?
    >>>>The only downside that I found out about the 90 nm cpu is it runs
    >>>>hotter.
    >>>>
    >>>>Input Needed,
    >>>>Mr Koko
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>In general, for semiconductors, as a part reaches end of (production)
    >>>life many manufacturers will increase its price to discourage
    >>>continued use of the part.
    >
    >
    > This is probably rare but has happened in the past. A different tactic is
    > used more regularly nowadays. (See Below)
    >
    >
    >>Which, in general, would simply drive purchasers of that part to a
    >>competitor.
    >
    >
    > This is a potential issue for any business, but don't forget that I'm
    > talking about 'end of life' parts and specifically about the semiconductor
    > business. There is the complication that continued support of a given part
    > may require continued support of an old technology. Supporting old
    > technologies may be more expensive, both in terms of money and resources,
    > than is economically feasible or prudent. Manufacturers frequently have to
    > move to newer technologies to keep up with customer requirements and
    > competitors technological advances. In fact, this happens frequently in the
    > semiconductor business. So much so, that manufacturers regularly notify
    > customers of impending manufacturing 'discontinuances'. These
    > 'discontinuances' are often referred to as 'End of Life' notices. But your
    > correct in that they typically do not involve price increases per se.
    > (Customers are required to place final orders though.)

    You're using a lot more words to say the same thing I did. Market volume
    shifts to the new technology rendering the old unprofitable from lack of
    demand.

    > Another complication
    > is that, in some instances, there is no competitor to turn to when the 'End
    > of Life' notice is issued.

    There's always the 'last guy' to give it up.

    > Furthermore, other manufactures may also want to
    > quit supporting old technologies so that they will issue 'End of Life'
    > notices on their equivalent parts as well.

    If everyone is dropping it then you can be dern sure there's little or no
    demand for it or else someone would get the bright idea to keep the line
    and rake in the volume and profits from all those other 'idiots' who EOLed
    theirs.

    > This is relevant here because I
    > believe that Intel will not attempt to support both cores for an extended
    > period.

    Of course not. Just as they don't want to make P133 cores anymore. There's
    no demand for it.

    > Intel wants to move all it's production capacity to the new
    > processes and will stop producing Northwood cores as a result of this
    > desire.

    You beg the issue, though, by simply calling this a 'desire'. What I was
    getting at is the *reason* for the 'desire' and that it isn't just a
    cavalier decision or some pervert who thinks it would be 'fun' to 'screw'
    the buyers.

    > Prescott, and the associated newer manufacturing processes, is
    > their future

    Bingo. And 'why' is it the future? For the reasons I explained.

    > and continued production of Northwood cores wood use resources
    > better applied to making Prescott cores.

    Which is the manufacturing transition period I spoke of.

    > So, you can see that making
    > Prescott cores less expensive may be viewed by Intel as an enticement to
    > get their customers to use Prescott cores.

    Someone may 'view' it that way but it isn't what's driving the process.

    And if it is, in fact, being done it is one of those 'bumps' in the
    transition I spoke of; where the business plan's estimates of when and how
    fast the market would shift to the new product isn't playing out as
    expected (or maybe you're competitor is taking market share for some
    reason, or the market itself has shifted due to economic pressures). But it
    is, again, a market supply/demand issue. You've prematurely ramped up
    production on the new product and are facing either excess inventory or a
    price cut to move it.


    > Since there are no second
    > sources for Northwood cores that is not an issue here. (I think they
    > probably disregard losses to AMD processors since they probably believe
    > they have a good alternative to Northwood core CPU's, namely the Prescott
    > core CPU's and so losses would be insignificant or none existent.)

    If the Prescott is, indeed, a 'better' processor than the Northwood then
    the issue is moot because it *will* be transitioned to Prescotts and we
    simply discussing if their production timing is well planned. If it's not,
    which seems to be the implied 'accusation', then AMD would indeed be an
    alternative since Intel would have made a catastrophic error and 'missed
    the boat' on the next generation of competitive products.

    But we've strayed from your original premise of 'the semiconductor business
    in general' in dealing with a proprietary, single source, product.


    >>>Sometimes, distributors, and other profiteers, will buy up supply
    >>>at the wholesale level and reap the benefits as manufacturing ramps
    >>>down (supply dwindles while demand does not) and prices go up.
    >>
    >>The problem with your theory "supply dwindles while demand does not"
    >>is that no one in their right mind is going to ramp down production
    >>while demand remains robust and profitable. It flies directly in the
    >>face of "supply and demand."
    >
    >
    > Very true, but again, in the semiconductor industry, supporting an old
    > technology may be more expensive than not. Particularly if a manufacturer
    > sees more profit in another (newer?) technology or part.

    Again, you're begging the issue by not dealing with *why* supporting an
    'old' technology is not profitable. Little or no demand.

    > In this case, I
    > believe that a manufacturer may feel that resources should be moved to the
    > newer technology or part.

    Of course. Because that's where the demand is.

    > I do believe however that your argument is valid
    > in that some 'end of life' notices, and therefore, 'end of technology'
    > notices have been delayed, perhaps for years. In some cases industry
    > customers have managed to exert great influence on manufactures, by keeping
    > demand high and being very vocal in their discontent, on some very mature
    > technologies. Many manufacturers and industry reporters have been proven
    > wrong, time and again, for the very reason you state,

    Right. I'm talking of how the market works and how a manufacturer deals
    with it, if they're *right*. If they screw up then you have the kind of
    situation you just described: the market forces an adjustment.


    > but many mature
    > technologies have gone the way of the Dodo as soon as manufacturers could
    > get away with it.

    The way you word that is what I have a problem with, "if they can get away
    with it", because it ignores the reasons why they give a tinker's dam. As I
    said, they'd gladly make buggy whips if enough people would BUY the things.

    What they want to 'get away with' is "Oh, please don't try to make me keep
    a 500 million dollar plant online just to make the 100 parts a year you
    want to buy at 50 cents each."


    >>The classic notion of supply vs demand price fluctuation is fine, and
    >>appropriate, as long as everything else remains the same (and the
    >>market is elastic) but, in the real world, they seldom, if ever, do.
    >>In particular, prices can go up in a 'perfectly matched' supply vs
    >>demand market if demand (and the matching supply) is decreasing
    >>because the economies of scale are lost. And, just as economy of scale
    >>often increases demand because more can buy at a lower price, losing
    >>it can depress demand as the price increases; which is probably what
    >>leads to the fanciful notion that it's 'purpose', rather than natural
    >>result, is to "discourage continued use."
    >

    > Good point, but how natural is it when a manufacturer decides to ramp down
    > production in the face of steady demand.

    I dispute the premise of "steady demand."

    > As I said previously, Intel does
    > not want to support both Prescott and Northwood at the same time. Northwood
    > is last years model and as such is a resource drain and a hindrance to
    > forward progress.

    The demand for Northwood will *not* "remain steady." Whether they've timed
    their process transition 'perfectly' is a different matter.

    > But realistically, I don't know if its Intel or the
    > retail vendors pricing choices causing the Northwood prices to be higher
    > than the Prescott prices. I think that it is probably the retailers
    > smelling a little extra profit to be had.

    Intel may be off a bit on their process ramp schedule. Or it could be that
    Northwoods, being a 'larger' process and, hence, fewer dies per bake, are
    inherently more expensive to make.


    >>To wit, manufacturers would love to build the same thing forever
    >>because it's predictable. You know how it works, how to make it, what
    >>the costs are and all the rest whereas the 'new' thing is full of
    >>development costs and unpredictable problems. But you can't just keep
    >>making the same old thing because Mr. Competitor will come out with
    >>his 'new and improved' version to take market share so you have to
    >>have your 'new and improved' version in the works to keep even, or
    >>maybe take HIS market share. And that means, eventually, your
    >>manufacturing is going to transition to the 'new and improved'
    >>version
    >>because that's what people will be buying (unless you screwed up). In
    >>the process you're losing sales volume (people want the 'new and
    >>improved') and economies of scale on the fading product till it just
    >>isn't worth making any more. In practice you try to predict the
    >>timing
    >>of that transition in your business plan so, as Murphy would have it,
    >>there may be unusual, transitional, 'bumps' along the way, resulting
    >>in price oddities, if things don't pan out precisely as planned but
    >>you don't just arbitrarily dump a profitable product.
    >
    >
    > Of course not, but sometimes the march of technology demands resources, and
    > resources have to come from somewhere. You can't just keep adding a new fab
    > every time something new comes out;

    That's why I speak of the process transition.

    > and again, Intel wants Northwood to go
    > away. Again, more profit may lay with the newer technologies than the old
    > so, 'Out with the old and in with the new.'

    Begs the question again. *Why* does 'more profit' lay with the new? Because
    market demand for the old dies.

    ('More profit' is 'more' than staying with a dying product but it doesn't
    necessarily mean 'more' than you're doing now. You have to keep improving
    product just to stay even.)

    >>Now, if you folks would quit buying the 'new and improved' versions
    >>and be satisfied with P233MMXs and 32 Meg of RAM SIMMS running Windows
    >>for Workgroups 3.11 we wouldn't have this problem ;)
    >
    >
    > You are so right, but I must admit I have yet to use a computer that I
    > thought was fast enough. Microsoft will probably make it impossible for
    > that to happen, bloat ware and all. At least I have stopped at a PIII-733,
    > for now anyway.

    Considering that clock speeds are now in the 5 times faster range you've
    got some headroom there. <g>
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