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AMD shows off 1.5GHz Athlon

The fastest processor in the world .. this week

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Ever wondered what a 1.5GHz PC looks like? Well, it looks like this. Of course, the undulating crowds trying to get a peek at it during this week's Comdex show weren't going to be impressed by this simple readout of speed. But surprisingly, this is pretty much all the general public got, although technical demonstrations (a few simple benchmarks) were available from an on-hand AMD fellow. The question, though, as we approach the end of the year 2000, is how close the Athlon core has come to its peak. When the 1GHz barrier was broken by both AMD and Intel, their respective Athlon and Pentium III processors were considered to be at the high-end of their capabilities, and yet here we are looking at AMD's output for next year, an Athlon approaching 1.5GHz, a mark only the Pentium 4 has been able to lay claim to before today. Ultimately, AMD hope to have a 1.7GHz Athlon available to consumers next year, although they aren't willing to put a lid on things just there. If they can, we forsee them attempting to pump the Athlon core up to 1.75GHz and perhaps even 2GHz for the latter stages of next year. With Intel promising similar things from its P4 core and then some, AMD may need to find a new line to market its processors before they are superseded by Intel's speed demons. However in the mean time, all this good change, depending on whether or not AMD can sort out a stepping of the Athlon which can handle higher frequencies.

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