New Athlon models begin to arrive

We have some official confirmation from AMD that there will indeed be a version of the Athlon XP 2600+ that supports a 333MHz front side bus. Athlon XP 2600+ processors supporting the faster bus have shipped to PC manufacturers and should be available in systems by the end of the month. The new processors should make it to retail eventually, but we don't know the exact timetable for that yet.

If you can't wait, there are already a number of retailers on Pricewatch selling Athlon XP 2600+ processors with a 266MHz front side bus, and more claim they'll have processors available by the end of the week. If you simply must have a 333MHz front side bus, the Athlon XP 2700+ is popping up here and there on Pricewatch, but its availability will probably be more limited until the end of the month. If even that isn't fast enough for you, OEM systems based on the Athlon XP 2800+ appear this month, but you'll have to wait until 2003 to get your hands on a bare processor.

Now that AMD appears to have sorted out at least some processor availability issues, I'm hearing some mumbling here and there about a round of price cuts that would pit slower Athlon XPs against Intel's budget Celeron line. Apparently, the Celeron 2.0GHz and Athlon XP 2000+ boxed processors will both ring in at $93. Can anyone guess which of those two is the better deal?

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