You all can remember a time when Intel was considered to be the mainstream and performance market segment leader, with their processors found in the more expensive retail systems.  In the value market, AMD reigned free as their K6-X line of CPUs couldn’t cut it in terms of the performance that was necessary for most gaming or professional level systems. 

Intel began to slowly eat away at AMD’s value market share after the introduction of their Celeron A in late 1998.  With a high performing desktop CPU under their belt, and now a high performing value CPU beginning to ship as well, Intel set the tempo for what would carry them through the next two years. 

Unfortunately, a few bad decisions on Intel’s part left the company with a mainstream and performance market segment platform that no one wanted.  Instead, they turned to AMD for their Athlon for use in the majority of $1,000+ retail systems.  AMD continued to deliver very well, and Intel continued to lose a great percentage of the performance desktop and mainstream market segments to the Athlon. 

One thing that didn’t change very much at all, in spite of the release of AMD’s Duron processor, was Intel’s grasp on the value market segment.  Still using the same basic Celeron that was released in late August 1998, although on a different manufacturing process with a new core, Intel has managed to continue to succeed in an area that used to be dominated by AMD. 

At Comdex 2000 AMD provided us with a presentation that listed some fairly interesting statistics which illustrate perfectly Intel’s position in the market.  The average system price for a retail AMD system in October was a little over $1,300 while the average system price for an Intel system in the retail market was almost $400 less.  This clearly shows that while the Athlon is being found in most AMD systems, the Duron is underutilized.  At the same time, it shows that, on Intel’s side, the Celeron is driving the average price of Intel systems down considerably. 

In an attempt to continue their successful focus on the sub-$1000 retail market, Intel has released another Celeron processor, now bringing the number of clock speeds introduced since its release in 1998 up to 16 with the Celeron 766. 

The Chip
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