Intel unleashed a battery of price cuts in its high-end Pentium III desktop range this week in a direct attack on AMD's Athlon K7.
It is understood that the move will be followed shortly by similar action in the mobile and server sectors.
The chip giant will keep its 600MHz .25micron PIII at the same price - $700/1000 - for the time being, but has slashed the cost of its 550MHz to $490/1000.
Intel has also cut the price of its 500MHz PIII to $255/1000, while the 450MHz PIII has been effectively consigned to history, with a price similar to that of Celeron at $187/1,000.
The Pentium II range has become obsolete, with the highest specified item, the 450MHz, costing the same as the PIII 450MHz. Intel has managed, in the space of only a few months, to shift its entire PII range over to PIII.
In turn, PIII technology will gradually move into its Celeron low-end range.
But analysts are questioning how long AMD can afford to keep its pricing structure, or whether it can, and will, hold out against Intel's pricing action.
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