AMD announces cheaper dual-core Athlon chip

AMD is putting on sale much dual-core processors at a lower price than those it has announced to date.

AMD has started shipping a new version of its dual-core Athlon 64 X2 processor, which is considerably cheaper than the company's previous dual-core chips.

It hoped to bring dual-core computing to the mainstream consumer, it said, although the new processor was still aimed primarily at PC enthusiasts, and those who run multiple processor-intensive applications simultaneously.

The Athlon 64 X2 dual-core processor 3800+ is available to PC makers for $US354 in bulk purchases of 1000 or more chips. The chips started shipping on Monday and would be in shops shortly, an AMD spokesperson said.

Dual-core chips are the latest innovation from AMD and its main rival, Intel. They contain two processor cores on a single piece of silicon, and each processor can handle tasks such as editing video and burning disks independently, improving overall performance, according to the chipmakers.

AMD announced its first four dual-core Athlon 64s in May. Theye were considerably more expensive than the 3800+ series. A higher-end 4800+ model was priced at $US1001 for volume purchases, and the least expensive 4200+ processor cost $US537, the company said at the time.

The 3800+ series is cheaper because the chips run at a lower frequency, the company spokesperson said.

Both cores in the 3800+ series chips run at 2GHz, compared to 2.2GHz for the 4200+ series, she said.

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