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AMD counters Intel with speedier Opterons

Waiting for Xeon

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AMD today won a round of its ongoing chip marketing battle with Intel by pumping out a new fleet of speedier dual-core Opteron chips. Intel did its best to counter the move with a couple of variations to its single-core Xeon line but obviously fell short of its rival.

Customers can start buying 2.4GHz versions of the Opteron 280 and 880 chips. That's a boost from AMD's 2.2GHz mainstream Opteron parts and puts the rest of the line on par with an existing premium 2.4GHz chip used by Sun Microsystems. The Opteron 180 chip for single processor servers and workstations will ship at 2.4GHz as well within 30 days.

AMD was quick to note that it's already updating the dual-core Opteron line "less than five months" after first putting the product on sale. Meanwhile, Intel still has not released either a dual-core Itanium or a dual-core Xeon processor, leaving it behind AMD on x86 servers and the likes of IBM and Sun in the RISC market. Intel does, however, plan to fix this embarrassing problem by year end and ship dual-core parts for both lines.

HP, IBM and Sun are all expected to bring the faster Opterons to their servers in short order.

The Model 880 chip is priced at $2,649 for volume purchases, while the Model 280 will cost $1,299 and the Model 180 will cost $799.

In a statement, AMD noted that it's still waiting for Intel to compete in a dual-core chip challenge. We hope there aren't too many folks at AMD dedicated to this quixotic quest. ®

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