To keep its server and workstation customers in the loop with price cuts, AMD is lowering the price of its Athlon MP and Opteron processors. Led by the 2800+, the Athlon MP's prices are being slashed by between 11 and 16%. On the Opteron front, the 242 is leading the way with a whopping 34% discount, followed by 9 and 13% price cuts for the 240 and 244, respectively.
As much as I like cheaper Athlon MPs, it hurts to see the processors tied to the dated 760MPX chipset. I'm actually half-tempted to update my two-pair of Athlon MP 1.2GHz chips for something that runs faster and probably a little cooler than my current setup, but I'd rather have an updated chipset or motherboard with USB 2.0, Firewire, and Serial ATA support.
After doing a little checking on Pricewatch, I'm actually not all that impressed with AMD's Opteron price cuts, either. With a new price of $256, the Opteron 240 is certainly inexpensive, but a Xeon 2.4GHz (533MHz front-side bus) is actually cheaper at $235. The drastically reduced Opteron 242, which will sell for $455, is quite a bit more expensive than the Xeon 2.8GHz (533 FSB) and only $50 cheaper than the $504 Xeon 3.06GHz. With a new price of $690, the Opteron 244 should be more price-competitive with Intel's new L3-equipped Xeon DP.
There are plenty of interesting Opteron versus Xeon benchmarks that show AMD's new chip right in the thick of things, even with 32-bit code, so AMD definitely deserves a little price parity with Intel's Xeon line. However, I wonder if enthusiasts accustomed to seeing AMD as a less expensive option will flock to the Opteron. I guess we'll have to wait for the first wave of single- and hopefully dual-processor Opteron boards with AGP support to hit stores in volume for an answer.
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