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1.3GHz Athlon action kicks off

Chips, systems, lab tests

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It looks like 1.3GHz Athlon action is about to kick off, ahead of AMD's official launch at CeBIT next month.

The system builders have already got their processors, and the testing labs of the PC magazines are getting kit in to review.

Yesterday we reported Dabs.com is advertising 1.3GHz Athlons in the April issue of computer magazines. It says it will be selling the chips on 1 March.

Dabs seems to be alone in having the confidence to advertise stock this early, but both Tiny and Mesh are likely to have systems based on the 1.3GHz Athlon on sale in mid/late March.

And the The Reg understands Personal Computer World, PC Advisor and PC Plus will all have 1.3GHz machines rated in their May issues (which go on sale at the end of March). A full group test of 1.3GHz systems should be in the June issue of PC Pro which will go on sale at the end of April.

The kit is in all these mags' labs now. A Mesh box boasting an Athlon 1.3GHz CPU on an Athlon DDR 266MHz mobo has been sighted.

Dabs.com MD David Atherton said: "The 1.3GHz Athlon has been officially launched to OEMs although not to the public. We expect to see our first stock in the first week in March, hence why we have put it into our April cover date catalogue, which is supposed to hit the streets on 1 March. Previous history with AMD suggest early stocks will be very scarce, so backorders are recommended."

Dabs is quoting £220 for the 1.3GHz Athlon with either a 200MHz or 266MHz bus.

Evesham Micro's marketing director Luke Ireland feels Dabs is being a bit premature. "There's no product available. Dabs has been guilty of jumping the gun before."

Mesh's communications manager Paul McEvoy agrees: "Dabs are being very optimistic. There's no real shipments in the UK except reference copies."

CeBIT, Europe's biggest computer show, kicks off in Hanover, Germany on Thursday 22 March. ®

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