AMD cuts Athlon MP and Opteron prices

— 4:28 AM on July 31, 2003

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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