AMD to drop Athlon 64 taxonomy for Intel's

Web sites rush to repeat Chinese site's April scoop

AMD is do drop its Athlon 64 performance rating naming scheme and replace it with a remarkably Intel-like three-digit model number.

That, at least, is what AMD presentation slides suggest. Marked 'confidential', the slides have nonetheless turned up on French website Hardware.fr, itself citing a picture-less report on Chinese website GZeasy.

The crucial slide in question appears after a few piccies of AMD Europe executive Dave Everett giving a spiel to an unknown audience. Whether the displayed slide is one of his, isn't known, and might well not be.

The slide's language is poor - Dave is certainly more articulate than that. It notes that it's now essential that punters understand how AMD's chips line up against Intel's 90nm Pentiums 4.

So now, apparently, the AMD Athlon 64 3400+, which is matched against the Pentium 4 560 running at 3.6 GHz, will soon be called the AMD Athlon 64 560+. And so on, throughout the rest of the Athlon 64 line.

Got this far without twigging? Yes, it's an April Fool's gag, as the 1 April 2004 date on the original Chinese story reveals, but the French, reading the story late at night on 31 March didn't spot. Nor did a number of US sites who spotted the Hardware.fr piece early in their timezones, but long after it had already become April in the Far East. ®