AMD cuts prices, Intel holds

The Inquirer is confirming AMD lowered prices on a number of its Athlon XP processors over the weekend. What's most interesting about the report is that Intel apparently won't be rolling out price cuts of its own until Prescott launches.

Now that Intel has quite a solid grip on the desktop performance crown, could the chip giant be looking to keep prices a little higher? Perhaps, but I'm more inclined to believe Intel is waiting to see what kind of impact AMD's Athlon 64 has on the market before slashing Pentium 4 prices. If the Athlon 64 comes screaming out of the gate, I'd expect Intel to respond with price cuts. However, if AMD's new 64-bit desktop chip is a dud, Intel may have little motivation to cut prices other than to make room for new processors.

Regardless of what happens with the Athlon 64, it looks like AMD's low-end Athlon XPs will continue to deliver incredible performance at bargain-basement prices. Currently, the street price of an Athlon XP 1700+ is just $45. Even the Barton-core Athlon XP 2500+ is available for under $90, which will only get you a Celeron 2.4GHz for the Socket 478 platform.

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