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AMD unveils low-power, high speed desktop CPUs

Athlons and Semprons to challenge Intel's 'Conroe'

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AMD today unveiled a range of "energy efficient" dual- and single-core Athlon and Sempron desktop processors it hopes will help it win the support of manufacturers of small form-factor PCs who might otherwise be tempted by Intel's Core Duo and upcoming Core 2 Duo chips.

The list of new processors - which AMD said would ship later this month; next week, at a guess - include Athlon 64 X2s running from the 3800+ up to the 4800+ in model-number steps of 200. There's a token single-core Athlon 64, the 3500+ and three Semprons: the 3000+, 3200+ and the 3400+.

The Athlon 64 X2s consume 65W - a second, "small form-factor" version of the X2 3800+ consumes 35W.

Prices for the parts range from $101 (Sempron 3000+) to $671 (Athlon 64 X2 4800+).

AMD said the CPUs yielded higher performance-per-Watt ratings than its existing desktop processors, but the unspoken thrust of its announcement is that they're better than Intel's chips too. The chip giant's 'Conroe' part, aka the desktop Core 2 Duo, is due to ship in two months' time, in July 2006, and is set to offer much higher performance than Intel's current dual-core desktop processors and consume less power. So Intel claims, at any rate.

AMD's announcement comes ahead of the launch of dual-core Turion 64 processors, expected to take place tomorrow, and the formal unveiling of its Socket AM2 interconnect next week. ®

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