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As the launch of Intel Core 2 processors nears, positions of Advanced Micro Devices on the market of high-performance desktop processors become weaker, as the code-named Conroe chips manage to outstrip the competing solutions from AMD in benchmarks. AMD has to react somehow and the most logical reaction is acceleration of its own roadmap.

In order to maintain its market share on the desktop market AMD needs to offer customers higher-performance processors as well as affordable offerings, but while cranking up the clock-speed may not be easy, release of a lower-end chip is certainly a straightforward decision: many people would like to have a popular AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor with two processing engines, but few can now afford it now, when the slowest X2 chip costs $303 in 1000-unit quantities.

AMD plans to accelerate the release of the AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ processor and start to sell it in the Q3 2006, not in the fourth quarter as originally reported, a news-story by HKEPC web-site claims. The new AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor will run at 2.00GHz and will contain 512KB of level-two (L2) cache (256KB per core), while being made for the AM2 form-factor and supporting dual-channel DDR2 memory.

Even now Intel is pretty aggressive with the pricing of its Intel Pentium D central processing units (CPUs), which pressures AMD’s margins. But after the 23rd of July the pressure will be eve fiercer. Intel is planning, according to earlier reports, a price slash on 23rd  of July, Intel will reportedly decrease the pricing of Intel Pentium D 960, 950, 945, 940 and 820 to $316, $224, $163, $183, $133 and $113, respectively. Meanwhile, its Pentium D 805 will cost only $93, starting from that date.

On July 27 Intel plans to formally launch its new Core 2 Duo E6700, E6600, E6400 and E6300 chips for desktops, which are going to cost $530, $316, $224 and $183 in 1000-unit quantities, respectively. In addition the company will release Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor for gamers and performance enthusiasts for $999 in 1000-unit quantities. The release of the Conroe CPUs will trigger price-slashes from AMD as well, but in addition to them, the company seems to plan broadening of the X2 lineup too.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

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