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Mobo makers to bundle CPUs with Athlon 64 boards

Want sufficient supplies for retail buyers

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Motherboards manufacturers plan to bundle Athlon 64 chips with their motherboards in order to ensure that their retail customers can get their hands on the processor as soon as possible.

A DigiTimes story, which cites executives from four major Taiwanese mobo makers, claims the companies hope to buy the chips directly from AMD.

Athlon 64s are expected to be in fairly limited quantities from the chip's launch on 23 September through to the end of the year at least. Indeed, AMD has tacitly said as much itself.

That's not uncommon with new processors, but the motherboard vendors' solution to the problem is unusual. Clearly they're trying to corner sufficient supplies for themselves to ensure they can sell boards at retail. Whether AMD will have enough to meet their needs and meet its own commitments to PC manufacturers remains to be seen.

AMD acknowledged the request from the mobo makers, DigiTimes says, and stated it would give "favourable consideration" to them.

It makes sense to do so. Athlon 64's initial customers - particularly since 64-bit Windows won't appear, at least as a finished product, before the end of the year - will be enthusiasts. They tend to be more likely to buy new mobos and processors at retail rather than as part of a pre-built system purchase, so focusing on mobo makers' retail channels may allow AMD to get what Athlon 64s it can offer out to the folk who most want them - and will subsequently do most to sing the chip's praises.

That said, its supply contracts with top-tier PC manufacturers may preclude such a move. ®

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