Price Guides August 2004: CPUs and Motherboardsby Anand Shimpi & Cara Hamm on August 13, 2004 5:34 PM EST
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Prices have continued their downward spiral from AMD in relation to their Athlon 64 lineup. With these drops comes the urge to run out and grab the latest and greatest processor and, in many cases, a new motherboard. We'll go over the offerings from both AMD and Intel to see what processors hit the price to performance ratio sweet spot this week.
Be sure to visit our RealTime Pricing Engine for the most up-to-date prices on motherboards, processors, and more before you drop your hard-earned cash.
AMD just doesn't seem to be letting up on their push to get Athlon 64's into as many systems as possible, and this week is certainly no exception. You might recall that the last time we touched on the subject of processors that AMD had just announced huge price cuts on their A64 line. Luckily, these new prices seem to be here to stay and are only getting lower.
If you're into heavy gaming, video editing, or just plain want the fastest machine your budget can afford, Athlon 64 is now the processor of choice from AMD. This week the Athlon 64 2800+ comes to us with the lowest price we have seen from a 64-bit processor. Sporting a 512KB L2 cache and a stock clock speed of 1.8GHz this chip will certainly throw the framerate limitation back at your video card. It wasn't very long ago that you could barely find an Athlon XP 2500 for this price so it's certainly plausible that the jump to 64-bit computing is a good idea right now. Of course, you'll still have to wait for Microsoft to bring their 64-bit version of Windows XP out of beta, but if you're daring you can always try the beta or even load up one of the numerous 64-bit implementations of Linux. It's also worth noting that the Socket 754 platform is already on its way out the door as Socket 939 makes its way to center stage. This platform is slated to only reach the A64 3700+ mark, so keep that in mind when considering how long you plan to use this socket for.
For those who don't want to take the plunge just yet, or aren't interested in having to purchase a new motherboard to accommodate the A64 2800+, Athlon XP's are still (barely) around for now and can work just as well for a lot of users and purposes. Specifically, the Athlon XP 2700+ is priced this very nicely this week, but be warned all XP prices are on the rise. Don't forget, Sempron's start shipping this week as well.