Looking at 4 product lines and 4 sockets is getting a little stressful, but it looks like Socket A is hitting a brick wall rapidly.  We were extremely doubtful of AMD's ability to phase the architecture so quickly, as we have brought up various times in previous price guides.  However, it looks like we may have been a little too pessimistic.

We mentioned on the previous page that it really would be advised against to buy an AMD CPU this week.  The official AMD price cuts will come on the 15th, but vendors usually jump the gun by a week or so.  Although we don't know exactly how much we will see in price drops, we can probably safely assume the A64 3000+ will duck under $200 to get competitive with the Pentium 4 2.8C.  The rest of the line should move as well.  Again, Socket 754 is not a very forward looking socket upgrade - if you get a Socket 754 CPU now, chances are it will be the last Socket 754 CPU you buy.

Athlon XP processors are drying up quickly.  Several of our vendors have totally stopped listing XP chips.  This is very similar to the dryup we noticed with Athlon MP during the introduction of Opteron.  Nine months after Opteron's debut, we still have a few stragglers holding onto their Athlon MP caches, but for the most part no new chip shipments are showing up.  Perhaps XP chips will drop a little with next week's changes - but we wouldn't put too much faith in the slower, more expensive line.

Several other interesting things are coming together.  Primarily, Opteron 248/848 has been very slow to market.  You may recall that Opteron 248 was first announced at COMDEX 2003.  Here we are two months later, and retail wise the 248 and 848 is virtually non-existent.   We have seen a few chips here and there for review samples, but it appears that both AMD and Intel embrace the paper launch with open arms. 

This week we will not actually be making an AMD processor recommendation.  With upcoming price cuts, it would be very foolish to recommend a CPU so close to what will probably be a drastic price variation.  However, if you must get a CPU today, remember our rule from the previous page.  Northwood/Prescott are putting out slightly better content creation and overclocking, but Athlon 64 Socket 754/940 processors are the better gaming CPUs.

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  • AGM130 - Sunday, February 15, 2004 - link

    Anymore word on weather or not the A64 will drop in price? I have my debit card in a holster, just waiting! Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - link

    Trogdor, have you any other memory to test it with? I have not heard great things about Geil recently. I am not sure...

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • TrogdorJW - Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - link

    For Athlon 64 (socket 754), you list the MSI Neo FIS2R as a recommendation. Having just built one last weekend, I have to say that everything was great... except for the memory support. 1GB Geil Golden Dragon PC3200 2-3-3-6 timings would not run stable. I tried quite a few settings, but finally dropped to DDR333 to get it stable. So that's probably why it has this huge price drop: people are learning that it isn't very stable. Just my two cents. Make sure you get RAM that you know will run in the MSI board! Reply
  • KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - link

    Keith:
    "Your indication that the 3000+ A64 model would drop is incorrect (I already have the new pricelist), A64 pricing will not be cut"

    I have heard about vendors say both will be cut. Please email me -

    I do agree AMD has been much better with paper launches since the A64 introduction. This does only account for 4 processors but its a good start.

    Kristopher
    Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - link

    Also this: "You may recall that Opteron 248 was first announced at COMDEX 2003. Here we are two months later, and retail wise the 248 and 848 is virtually non-existent. We have seen a few chips here and there for review samples, but it appears that both AMD and Intel embrace the paper launch with open arms.
    "

    The 248 model has become available from Monarch at launch day, and they have it in stock today. The 848, at a cost of more than $3000, is hardly a retail product, it´s not like 4way is the enthusiast´s choice. The P4EE wasn´t available anywhere for many months after introduction, so please don´t lump these together. AMD had terrible execution in earlier years, but since the Opteron launch, this has changed significantly, and it would be great if your statements would acknowledge that.

    Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - link

    Christopher, maybe you should check this review of the Athlon 64 3000+ from Anandtech

    http://www.anandtech.com/cpu/showdoc.html?i=1946

    to see that the 3000+ is much more comparable to the P4 3.2 Ghz instead of the 2.8 Ghz model, as you try to make it seem. The only relevant mainstream area where the 2.8Ghz model would be faster would be on certain encoding tasks, and those people who mainly encode video all day (???) and think a few percent faster really matter for them should choose that model. Others are surely better served by the 3000+. Your indication that the 3000+ A64 model would drop is incorrect (I already have the new pricelist), A64 pricing will not be cut, only AXP pricing will, and your guess that the 3000+ would be cut to 2.8Ghz P4 level is wrong, and wouldn´t make sense based on its performance and feature advantages (Cool´n´quiet etc.). It stays at the P4 3 Ghz level, which is more than adequate, considering what Anandtech (and everyone else) found out about it.

    As for your question:

    "When was the last time we saw a solid launch and release date from either AMD or Intel in the past 2 years?"

    A64 launched exactly on the day that AMD set many months before. It was available at launch day. The same is true for the FX, 3400+, and the 3000+ actually launched ahead of schedule. That is unlike the P4EE, or the Prescott.

    Buying the 3000+ doesn´t lead to a dead-end either, as it will be at least viable for the 3700+, and AMD has on Aceshardware given the indication that 90nm processors would also be made available for S754 boards.

    As for a dryup of Athlon XP parts, that is not what channel checks indicate.

    Just FYI.
    Reply
  • KeithDust2000 - Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - link

    Reply

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