AMD's DDR D-Day

An end to the memory bus bottleneck?

DDR for the Athlon is finally here. AMD has launched its new 760 chipset to a mostly positive response from the hardware hobbyists, and is promoting it as the end to the memory bus bottleneck.

As things stand, the CPU clock on a 1.2GHz Athlon is going nine times faster than the memory bus. There has been concern that if this area is not addressed the industry will find itself in a situation where the CPU is waiting for the memory for data.

Benchmarking tests already published have suggested that DDR will up the performance of the Athlon by between five and 20 per cent.

Other industry figures have suggested that it may still be too early to bring in a new memory technology.

Intel has announced support for DDR in its chipsets destined for the server market, but perhaps being cautious, following the arguably mistimed announcement of support for Rambus, is planning to bring the technology into the desktop arena gradually over the next 18 months.

Systems based on the new chipset will be available in November, but orders can be placed with MicronPC in the US and NEC Computers in Europe. It will be available worldwide by Q1 2001.

The company has also brought out Athlon processors with a 266MHz front side bus and DDR support available at speeds of 1.2GHz, 1.13GHz and 1GHz. Prices per unit in thousand unit orders are $673, $506 and $385 respectively. The AMD-760 chipset is priced at $39, also in thousand unit batches. ®

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