AMD expands 64-bit chip line

Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday will turn up the heat on Intel by releasing a desktop chip and three notebook processors.

AMD's Athlon 64 3400+ processor largely will be aimed at high-end desktops, while the Athlon 64 2800+, 3000+ and 3200+ chips will go into notebooks. The 3400+ chip will cost $417 in volume quantities, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. AMD also is expected to cut prices on existing chips. The new chips will likely intensify the ongoing battle for desktop supremacy between Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD and Intel. AMD's Athlon 64 line holds a slim edge over Intel's Pentium 4 on a number of benchmarks, according to review sites such as AnandTech, although the Pentium 4 outscores the Athlon 64 on some tests.

Intel will soon counter AMD's lead with Prescott, an enhanced version of the Pentium 4 with additional multimedia instructions. But Prescott probably won't be released until February. High-end chips such as these sell in relatively low volumes. The Athlon 64, for instance, is sold in a Hewlett-Packard PC under its Compaq Presario brand, but it's mostly seen in desktops from specialty makers such as Falcon Northwest. Still, word-of-mouth recommendations from the enthusiast crowd can be crucial in sales, according to executives from AMD and Intel.

News source: C|Net News.com

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