The 2.80 GHz Pentium 4 is, without a doubt, the fastest desktop processor available (although AMD's recently-announced AthlonXP 2600+ comes quite close). It represents another step toward the 3 GHz barrier, and illustrates yet again Intelís ability to ramp clockspeed seemingly at will. If you want the absolute fastest desktop processor out there, this is it, bar none.
However, it is also, without a doubt, the most expensive desktop processor out there, and is outside the financial reach of most of our readership. As with most any new processor introduction, the real news for most buyers is in what happens to the prices of the lower speed processors. In just a few days, Intel will be cutting prices across the Pentium 4 line. The 2.40 GHz part, for example, will drop well below the $170 mark - now thatís something to get excited about.
We have absolutely no reservations about recommending the Pentium 4 2.80 GHz to those who can, and are willing to pay for it. Paired with a solid motherboard and supporting hardware, it will form the basis for an extremely stable and compatible system. Those slightly less financially-blessed individuals will be able to enjoy excellent prices, and the same stability and compatibility, on marginally slower processors.
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