Socket AM2 CPUs with 1MB cache face uncertain fate

— 2:23 PM on June 14, 2006

According to a report by DailyTech, distributors in the United States claim to have received instructions from AMD to downplay Socket AM2 Athlon 64 X2 processors with 1 MB of cache per core. Focus will switch to variants with 512 KB of cache per core, the distributors say, with AMD employees even being told to "disregard" the chips with the larger cache altogether. These reports tie in with an earlier leaked price cut roadmap that only listed new prices for Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 denominations with 512 KB cache sizes.

As DailyTech puts it, ditching 1 MB flavors may very well make sense in the light of these price cuts, which are due to hit up to 44%. Such drops may be inevitable if AMD wants to compete with Intel's aggressive pricing strategy expected to strike after the Core 2 launch, but it's possible that slashing Athlons with the larger cache would simply cut margins too thin. Variants with 512 KB of cache per core have smaller die sizes, take up less room per wafer, and are therefore cheaper to produce.

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