AMD versus Intel – One Month Later
Just one month ago, we took a look at the availability of Athlon CPUs in comparison to their Pentium III counterparts in our review of the Athlon 850. According to Intel representatives that we talked to while attending their Developer Forum, the shortages of the Pentium III would begin to clear up. Well, have they?
The Pentium III 800 is finally more readily available than it was last month, we have seen the CPU pop up in a number of OEM systems and have managed to track down a few vendors online that carry the CPU in stock for between $800 and $900, although a couple of vendors were willing to part with the CPU at the “low” cost of $1000.
In contrast, we have seen the Athlon 850 and Athlon 800 gain much more exposure than their 800MHz Pentium III counterpart, both in systems and out of them. Compaq and Gateway are already offering systems based on the 850MHz CPUs for under $3000, and at the same time, we have seen about 20 online vendors carrying the 850 for around $800, if not less. If 20 vendors isn’t enough, we have counted over 50 online vendors that carry the 800MHz parts, which are currently priced between $500 and $600.
Once you get below the 800MHz clock speed for AMD the price drops considerably. The 750 could be had anywhere between $350 - $450 and the 700 was everywhere for as low as $250, but it usually fell around $325. The Athlon’s counterpart, the Pentium III ran for about $650 for the 750MHz version and between $400 and $500 for the 733/700MHz parts.
On the lower end, the Pentium III 600 has dropped to below $300 while the Athlon 600 is going for $200 or less.
There is still a clear difference in price between the Athlon and the Pentium III, but it is not nearly as bad as it was just one month ago when we took a look at the Athlon 850. The rule still stands that while the full speed on-die L2 cache of the Pentium III may give it a clock for clock performance advantage, the price to performance ratio of the Athlon is continuing to give AMD the edge, especially with the release of the KX133 chipset from VIA that helped to drop motherboard prices and increase performance in the professional level OpenGL arena.