HP preps 1.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 PC
HP has begun building PCs based on AMD's upcoming Athlon 64 processor.
One machine, the model t182k, is detailed in a support document uncovered on HP's web site. it's not hard to find. We hopped over to hp.com, did a search on 'Athlon64' and up popped a link to the PDF almost immediately.
The t182k features an Athlon 64 3100+ running at 1.8GHz with 1MB of on-die L2 cache. It utilises VIA's 8KT400M chipset with 10/100Mbps Ethernet, one 1394 connector, five USB 2.0 ports and six-channel AC97 audio. The machine contains 256MB of 333MHz DDR SDRAM. There's an 80GB hard drive, 48x CD-RW drive and a DVD-ROM drive. It's got an AGP 4x graphics card based on an Nvidia GeForce 4 MX 440 chip with 128MB of DDR frame buffer RAM. And there's a built-in six-in-one card reader.
The PDF was prepared on 29 April, which is probably around the time the box was put together, presumably for internal testing. The Athlon 64 isn't due to be launched until late September, so at the very least the PDF indicates that AMD has been sending out samples of the chip.
As such, the chip's 3100+ performance may represent the lower end of the final Athlon 64 performance range. With the 3.2GHz Pentium 4 due next week, AMD will have to play the performance card, particularly since the chip's 64-bit compatibility, which AMD will also tout, will appeal more to speed-hungry buyers than mainstream customers.
So it's a fair bet that the chip's specs. will have changed by the time the official launch comes round, in three months' time. Equally, there's no guarantee that HP will offer an Athlon 64-based box, though having already offered Athlon XP-based PCs under both the HP and the Compaq brand, it's easy to imagine that the company will also ship kit running the 64. ®