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Advanced Micro Devices may have a yet another trump in its hands to fight low-cost Intel’s Pentium 4 “Prescott” microprocessors – an extremely affordable 64-bit Athlon 64 chip that still delivers respectable performance as well as something loads of customers are impatient to bite: 64-bit capability.

In late March 2004, Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker AMD added the Athlon 64 2800+ processor for desktops into its price-list. The 2800+ chips run at 1.80GHz, incorporate 512KB of L2 cache and feature single-channel memory controller. Thermal and electrical specifications of the Athlon 64 2800+ are the same as those of other PGA754 chips from AMD. The company quotes the new microprocessor at $178 price-point in for business quantities, the same price tag as the least expensive Intel Pentium 4 with 800MHz QPB and HT technology.

ChannelTimes and AMDZone web-sites report that there is an even more affordable AMD64 chip coming in the way of the personal computer market: AMD Athlon 64 2600+. The latter should feature PGA754 packaging, 512KB of L2 and probably 1.60GHz clock-speed.

64-bit microprocessors priced at around $150 or less have all chances to become popular among end-users who are looking for some new and exciting hardware, but cannot easily afford a $400 or $700 CPUs, such as the Athlon 64 3400+ or Athlon 64 FX-53. System integrators should also be happy with the new flavour of AMD64, as their customers may be impressed by reasonably priced 64-bit systems.

AMD’s product cost policy sometime allows certain distributors to sell processors at prices below official.

Official comments on the AMD Athlon 2600+ were not available at press time.

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