Price Guides February 2004: CPU and Motherboardsby Kristopher Kubicki on February 3, 2004 12:49 AM EST
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If you checked out our motherboard coverage from CES, or our AMD roadmaps, you'll know we have a couple exciting things to look forward this February. If you read our motherboard coverage closely, you will notice that we were a little surprised motherboard manufacturers have chosen to adopt nForce3 250 on Socket 754 before Socket 939. In fact, we should start to see nF3 250 boards very soon. nF3 250's biggest advantage over nF3 150 is the 1GHz HT bus.
Unfortunately, even with nF3 250 so close, we have actually seen almost no changes in motherboard prices. nF3 150 boards were traditionally very quick to fall into competitive pricing with K8T800. In reality, the only segment of the nForce3 motherboards that need a price adjustment are the already overpriced Socket 940 boards.
For those of you who really need a board this week, and probably went against our advice to hold off on that Athlon purchase, we have a couple of decent board recommendations. Obviously, for Socket A we have to go with our reigning champion, the DFI NFII Infinity. Tons of features, excellent stability and layout, and for a price under $100.
Choosing the best A64 board is slightly more difficult. VIA has the advantage of price and availability over nForce3 (at least for Socket 754). We strongly advise against purchasing a Socket 940 board right now unless you have your heart set on Opteron. Socket 940 will stay mostly overlooked for the rest of its life and really only find use in 3D/CAD and Server applications.
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AGM130 - Sunday, February 15, 2004 - linkAnymore word on weather or not the A64 will drop in price? I have my debit card in a holster, just waiting!
KristopherKubicki - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - linkTrogdor, have you any other memory to test it with? I have not heard great things about Geil recently. I am not sure...
TrogdorJW - Wednesday, February 4, 2004 - linkFor 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!
KristopherKubicki - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - linkKeith:
"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.
KeithDust2000 - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - linkAlso 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.
KeithDust2000 - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - linkChristopher, maybe you should check this review of the Athlon 64 3000+ from Anandtech
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.
KeithDust2000 - Tuesday, February 3, 2004 - link