Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
The Megahertz battle between Intel and AMD may be reaching new heights this coming week. On Monday AMD is expected to announce that its latest Athlon processor, running at 700MHz, is shipping in IBM Aptiva and Compaq Presario systems.
With the introduction of the new Athlon, AMD cut prices on its existing Athlons by 16 to 32 percent. The 700MHz Athlon will cost $849.
Meanwhile, Intel is expected to make an announcement about Coppermine - a code name for a Pentium III design using it's P858 manufacturing process, which features increased performance and lower power consumption. The new Pentium III processors should be announced at the end of the month. Coppermine will contain 256KB of integrated secondary cache on the same silicon as the processor. Current Pentium IIIs come with 512KB of cache, but the cache is on separate chips. The integration of the cache is touted to boost performance. Intel claims that its own benchmarks show that Coppermine outperforms standard Pentium IIIs in 3D tests by 13 to 23 percent.
AMD also announced details of its new 64-bit chip, to compete with Intel's Itanium (formerly Merced) processor. The big difference between the two is that the new AMD chip is an extension of the x86 architecture. This could have some appeal with conservative business buyers who are wary of the risks of jumping into new designs. Intel designed its 64-bit chip from the ground up with a new (IA-64) instruction set.
Intel delays 820 chip set
Two weeks ago Intel was set to launch the 820 chip set, but instead it has apparently delayed the launch indefinitely. The 820 chip set is the replacement for the 440BX chip set used with Pentium II and Pentium III processors. Intel claims the 820 will eliminate or reduce many PC system performance bottlenecks, such as memory and graphics performance, while increasing overall system performance. The 820 will step up performance by adding a 133MHz bus, 4X accelerated graphics port (AGP), along with support for Rambus Direct RAM and the ATA66 disk drive interface. ATA66 is a newer disk drive interface that will transfer up to 66MB of data per second.
Intel reportedly experienced memory errors when testing the chip set, and has decided to delay the introduction while it works to identify the causes of the errors.
The High Price of Memory
You may have noticed some sharp dramatic price increases, especially in memory modules. A stick of 128MB OEM memory was advertised and sold for as little as $86 in July 1999. Today's advertised price for the same 128MB of memory is $239.
You can expect the price for all imported computer products to escalate sharply. Business owners are obviously hoping to profit greatly when selling their existing stock on hand. Price gouging is reportedly running at close to 300%. Prices are expected to peak in about a month. In her article on computer memory, InfiniSource associate editor Sandra Underhill predicts a slow decrease in prices to somewhere near normal levels after about two months.