AMD's new kit to dazzle Intel
1.2Ghz Athlon and 800Mhz Duron look set to take control of power user and budget markets
AMD are having the run of things at the moment. With the latest price drop across the board, a Thunderbird Athlon 900Mhz can be had for £150 plus VAT, compared to £279 plus VAT for the Pentium III 866Mhz. Similarly in the budget market, at the current rates, you can pick up a Duron 750Mhz for £67 whereas the Celeron 700Mhz is £112. If you're upgrading your PC or building a new one there really is little to think about in economic terms. And with AMD's announcement of an Athlon 1.2Ghz and Duron 800Mhz due for release later this month, they have a significant advantage in the numbers game too. As we mentioned in our Athlon 1Ghz review, in terms of gaming there's is very little out there demanding enough to require such a CPU, let alone a graphics card available that could keep up with it, but with the GeForce 2 Ultra just around the corner it's poised to do Intel some serious damage, especially considering the hammering it's been taking over its disfunctional 1.13Ghz parts. Although the chips haven't been released yet, several specialist dealers have already announced prices. Scan are planning to sell the Duron 800Mhz at £96 plus VAT, but don't have a price for the 1.2Ghz Athlon yet, whereas Dabs are offering the Duron for a staggeringly low £81 + VAT and the 1.2Ghz Athlon for £381 + VAT. If you think that's steep though, compare it to the 933Mhz Intel part (currently the highest spec'ed Intel chip Dabs will stock), at a wallet-sickening $401 + VAT. As for the fabled 1Ghz Intel chip; aside from the fact nobody in the UK admits to having the stock when quizzed, the only place we could find them retailing was asking for £749 + VAT. Enough said. And according to The Register, Intel's stock has been walloped, dropping 11.6% yesterday.