AMD slashes Athlon prices

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. slashed chip prices for the second time in as many weeks on the same day that rival Intel Corp. cut the prices on some of its chips by as much as 54%.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD 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 1.4-GHz Athlon, is priced at $3 less than Intel's 1.4-GHz Pentium 4.

AMD also slashed the prices of both versions of its 1.4-GHz chip from $253 to $130 and cut the prices of its 1.3-GHz and 1.33-GHz chips from $230 to $125. The cost of both versions of its 1.2-GHz chip also fell from $199 to $120, and anything with a slower clock speed than 1.2-GHz was reduced to $115. The price of the 1.13-GHz and 1.1-GHz processors was reduced from $179, while both versions of AMD's 1-GHz 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. The prices were effective Sunday.

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 266-MHz front-side bus, while the other features a 200-MHz front-side bus, but the two are traditionally priced the same. The 200-MHz 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 1.1-GHz mobile Athlon 4, bringing the company's top mobile chip speed within reach of Intel's current corresponding offering, the 1.13-GHz 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 the mobile and desktop versions of its entry-level Duron processor (see story).

Intel yesterday launched its 2-GHz Pentium 4 processor and slashed prices on some of its chips by up to 54%. 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 (see story).

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