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The AMD K7 story – it's a limited edition

We're still waiting for high speed K6-IIIs. The rare bird concerned has hen's teeth

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We had a huge set of emails after we wrote our story based on cautionary statements AMD made about the K7 yesterday. Some were abusive, some were querulous but many, if not most of them, were very interesting indeed. SharkyExtreme (see below) says the K7 will arrive in limited quantities in July, not June, and that two tier one OEMs have samples. That makes sense. The very well reasoned argument on SharkyExtreme points out the OEMs are less than happy with the kit they've received, and suggest that it will not perform as well as the Pentium III platform... Oops. The K7 will be available in "limited quantities" in June, AMD insists, so we thought we'd ring the company up and ask them what that meant. At the same time, we thought we'd ask them how many of the high speed K6-IIIs were yet available. The ever patient Robert Stead, European marketing director of AMD, said: "The high end K6-III is shipping in better volumes than it was. Production will ramp throughout the quarter." He refused to say how many, exactly, a question that perhaps shareholders should ask AMD. He said: "It will be true for the K7 too, when it ships in June." We asked him exactly how many K7s will ship, and he refused to tell us that either. But high speed parts will cost more than low speed parts, he said. Meanwhile, SharkyExtreme is reporting that the K7-500 will cost $500 and is this is the same price, more or less, as the K6-III/475, that will make life very interesting indeed. Maybe AMD should call the K7 the K-VII/500 at launch, and leap four Roman numerals. "Everyone loves AMD microprocessors," he said. We said we were a bit agnostic about one kind of processor versus another. At The Register we all learned a long time ago that supporting the underdog is a process fraught with peril. Before you know where you are, the underdog becomes a topdog with similar bullying tactics. What we can't understand here is why this whole AMD-Intel thing has turned into a gladiatoral battle, a sort of soccer match of the x.86 giant and dwarf. After all, a processor is just a bit of refined sand, isn't it? And everyone knows that the microprocessor and the clock speed is just one small part in a much bigger whole. As William Blake put it in his Auguries of Innocence: "To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." ® RegisTroid 999 William Blake lived four hundred yards from our office in Mayfair and witnessed the Broad (now Broadwick) Street riots when he was a kiddie. His old gaff was knocked down in the early sixties and replaced with a very ugly tower block. His work was considered so radical that it was only available in limited editions, a bit like the high speed K6-III and the K7.

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