AMD slashes Athlon prices

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) slashed chip prices for the second time in as many weeks on Sunday, the same day archrival Intel chose to cut the prices on some of its chips by up to 54 percent.

AMD on Sunday dropped the prices on all of its Athlon desktop chips, which compete with Intel's Pentium 4 family. After this round of cuts, AMD's current top processor, the 1.4GHz Athlon, is priced at a whopping US$3 less than Intel's 1.4GHz Pentium 4.

AMD also slashed the prices of both versions of its 1.4GHz from $253 to $130, and its 1.3GHz and 1.33GHz from $230 to $125. Both versions of its 1.2GHz chip also fell from $199 to $120, and anything with a slower clock speed than 1.2GHz was reduced to $115. The prices of the 1.13GHz and 1.1GHz processors were reduced from $179, while both versions of AMD's 1GHz processor were reduced from $160, according to information on the company's Web site. Chip prices are in quantities of 1,000 units, a standard measurement of chip sales.

AMD has two versions of some of its Athlon chips; while both versions have the same clock speed, the difference is the speed of the path between the actual processor and the system's memory. One features a 266MHz front-side bus, and the other features a 200MHz front-side bus, but both traditionally feature identical pricing. The 200MHz version of the bus allows the processor to run with slightly cheaper RAM.

AMD cut the prices of many of its chips last week when it introduced its 1.1GHz mobile Athlon 4, bringing the company's top mobile chip speed within reach of Intel's current corresponding offering, the 1.13GHz Pentium III Processor-M. AMD also cut the prices on many of its other processors, including the mobile Athlon 4 family, as well as both its mobile and desktop versions of its entry-level Duron processor.

On the eve of its developers' forum in San Jose, Intel slashed prices on some of its chips by up to 54 percent. Intel applied the cuts to chips in its Pentium 4 family, its server and workstation processors, the Xeon family and the 0.13-micron Pentium III Processor-S family.

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Douglas F. Gray

Computerworld
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