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Monday, August 01, 2005
AMD releases budget dual-core Athlon

Advanced Micro Devices has released a new version of its dual-core desktop chip as the back-to-school buying season heats up.

The Athlon 64 X2 3800+ will run at 2GHz and each core will have a 512KB secondary cache for rapid data retrieval. The chip costs $354 in quantities of 1,000. That's less than existing dual-core Athlons, but the chip also doesn't provide the same performance levels as the chips released earlier. The Athlon 64 X2 4200+, for instance, has the same size cache but runs at 2.2GHz.

If the model number sounds familiar, it is. The company already sells a 3800+ Athlon with a single core.

AMD will also cut processor prices on Monday, a spokeswoman said.

The chip comes amid a surge of growth in the PC industry. Computer shipments grew by 16.6 percent in the second quarter, according to analyst firm IDC. The back-to-school buying season is typically the second most busy for the PC market and some expect sales to be strong this year. Although shipments are rising, price cuts mean neutralizes some of the would-be gains.

Previous Next Various manufacturers have experimented with different PC configurations to see what will attract buyers. Several PC manufacturers have offered $499 notebooks in recent weeks, a price point that Steve Baker of NPD group has said could become more common.

In desktops, HP briefly sold a $199 desktop, after rebates.

Like other Athlon chips, the new one sports HyperTransport links which help performance. The chip can also process 64-bit software, which remains almost nonexistent for Windows desktops.

In the second quarter, processor sales at AMD increased 38 percent over the same period last year, with revenue from these products hitting the $767 million mark. The company also raised its market share in server chips to 11.2 percent.

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