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Speed-bumped AMD Athlon MP to launch next month

1.53GHz part out on 9 October

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AMD's Athlon MP will ship at 1.53GHz - not the much-touted 1.4GHz - The Register has learned. And the part will officially launch on 9 October, just ahead of the Athlon XP on 12 October.

That means the part isn't available now, contrary to what European workstation supplier Transtec has been advertising on its Web site. This week we reported that the company was offering two 1.4GHz Athlon MPs as an alternative to the 1.2GHz Athlon MP shipped with its Transtec 2100 system. The upgrade is marked "Delivery: available".

Register readers tell us that Transtec UK is saying that it won't have Athlon MPs clocked above 1.2GHz - the maximum speed AMD is currently offering the part at - before the end of the month.

As we went to press, Transtec had yet to confirm the availability - or otherwise - of the 1.4GHz chip.

Well-placed industry sources tell us that the part will ship to AMD's channel customers the previous week, presumably to allow them to begin shipping systems based on the faster processor as soon as it's launched.

Unlike the desktop-oriented Athlon XP, it's not clear whether AMD will use its new, controversial relative clock speed-based numbering system. However, vendor sources tell us that they don't think it's a good idea.

"What's the yardstick?" asked one. "I can show you applications under which a dual 1.2GHz Athlon MP beats a dual 1.7GHz Xeon system hands down. But I can also show other apps where it underperforms compared to the Xeon. So does that make it a 1600+ or a 1700+ model?"

"We think it's better to stick with clock speeds and let the independent testers analyse performance and show that a 1.5GHz Athlon can knock a 2GHz Pentium 4 into a cocked hat," he added.

Register readers would appear to agree - the correspondence on the matter shows a clear consensus behind the belief that such ratings are not a good idea. ®

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