Weekly Hardware Price Guides: May 2003 Editionby Kristopher Kubicki on May 26, 2003 1:46 AM EST
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The most notable addition to our Price Guides would be the addition of Opteron CPUs. Now that the chips are more readily available, we should see some decent competition with Intel's Xeon and Itanium solutions. To be fair on the server market, we have added a few Xeon processors to the Intel lineup on our engine.
Additionally, the 400MHz FSB announcement created a bit of a stir in the AMD community. Officially, the XP 3200+ is the only 400MHz AMD CPU available. We have not seen much convincing evidence to prove that there are going to be many other official 400MHZ FSB XP chips, so we may have to see if AMD even pursues this technology. Remember, the Athlon64 to be launched in September is supposed to completely replace the AMD XP line. Thus, the XP processors will assume the role of low end processing.
Intel did not spend the last few weeks sitting around either. The release of 800MHz HyperThreading CPUs debuted with a 3.0GHz version of the Pentium 4 (which we took a look at here). Although we have not specifically benchmarked this processor against the AMD XP 3200+, the general consensus is that the 3.0CGHz P4 easily takes the cake in performance, at a lower price. Perhaps more exciting than the 3.0C P4 are the 2.8, 2.6 and 2.4 GHz P4s on the horizon. We are very excited to see Intel adopt middle grade CPUs with HyperThreading as this looks to be a technology that is here to stay. Right now the HT chips are priced about 20-30% more than their 533MHz FSB counterparts, but we are expecting these chips to fall to ranges about $20 more than non-HT CPUs.
Typically, we recommend AMD CPUs due to their price/performance ratios. However, it looks like the sub 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB Pentium 4s will break into the midrange market with relative ease. Furthermore, it looks like overclocking on these processors is extremely easy; our forum users seem to have no problem obtaining 1000MHz (and higher) FSB. The CPUs and motherboards are still new, so it may be a couple weeks before prices stabilize.