AMD wins 1GHz price war

But new battle lines forming

Peace will break out on the 1GHz microprocessor front in the continuing war between Intel and AMD on the 5 September.

AMD has taken a little while to perfect its price weapon but on that day will drop the price of its 1GHz Athlon to $495 and its 800MHz Athlon to $190 in quantities of 1000, according to one of its US OEMs, speaking under conditions of strict confidentiality to The Register.

The current price of a Pentium III 1000MHz part using CuMine technology at 0.18 micron is $990 if you can buy 1000 of the babies.

Intel's strength was always its pricing, but a combination of fast technology from AMD and supply problems on its Coppermine Pentium III family mean that this year it has been forced to follow the x86 imitator. Those problems have made Intel's pricing strategy look like the Maginot Line.

AMD was able to delay the introduction of its 1GHz microprocessor at the beginning of this year, and so able to take advantage of lucrative margins, largely based on its loyal band of enthusiasts. But when it did finally intro that product, Intel was forced into a speedy "paper launch" of its own 1GHz Pentium III based on CuMine technology which, even now, is not available in quantity.

At the end of this month, it will intro a 1.1GHz CuMine Pentium III but again, that will only be available in limited quantities.

Instead, Intel seems to be attempting to change the nature of the war. Its secret weapon is now the Pentium 4 (Willamette) processor, although it would be very interesting to see the performance deltas between this part and both CuMines and AMD Athlons. We know they're out there somewhere folk. How about it? ®