No soup for you!

You'd think all the hardware goodness coming from AMD and Intel these days would be cause for the PC freak to celebrate this Christmas, but the yuletide ain't so merry when the gifts can't find their way under the tree. I was e-mailing back and forth today with Dr. John from about getting hold of an Athlon 1.2GHz/AMD 760/DDR SDRAM rig, and he informed me that such things just aren't out there to be had yet.

Sure enough, I checked Pricewatch, and it ain't pretty. As of now, no 1.2GHz Athlons are available (with either 200 or 266MHz bus). And DDR SDRAM DIMMs aren't around except those being sold by Crucial (which are no longer listed on their sites' front page). No matter. If you had the DIMMs, you'd be hard pressed to find a motherboard (except for a couple of preorder deals). Despite the fact we conducted a review of this hardware combination a couple of weeks back, Santa won't be stuffing DDR goodness into PC home-builders' stockings this Christmas.

Meanwhile, those of you who wanted to drop a few grand on a Pentium 4 system might have better luck. Both 1.4GHz and 1.5GHz P4's are available, all packaged up with RDRAM RIMMs. Of course, if you want more 800MHz RIMMs, you can find 'em, but it'll cost you. And Pentium 4/850 chipset motherboards are awfully scarce—generally only available in bundles, from what I see. (Hard to query for on Pricewatch, too.) So Intel's doing better than AMD, but the cover price is steeper than Club Ra's during Comdex.

Which leaves me this Christmas recommending Athlon/Duron rigs based on an Abit KT7-RAID mobo for those non-rich folks who just can't wait for DDR or P4. The upside of going with this "proven" technology is clear: PC133 SDRAM is dirt cheap. Might as well grab extra.

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