AMD leader of CPU pack again with 700MHz Athlon

AMD snatches CPU speed lead, as Intel falters with Coppermine due to disastrous 820 delays

Chip underdog AMD officially launched its flagship 700MHz Athlon processor Monday, with full 700Mhz systems already advertised for sale online.

Despite assurances from competitor Intel that it has chips based upon its PIII 133MHz bus "coppermine" technology readied -- ranging in speed from 600MHz to 1000MHz -- AMD has once again beat Intel to the punch.

Richard Baker, AMD's European marketing manager lauded the launch of the 700MHz Athlon as a victory over Intel and pointed to its recent calamitous 820 motherboard launch as another huge stumbling block still in its way: "Intel is talking about faster speeds with its 133Mhz bus chips but interestingly, thanks to the 820 board delays, they will be shipping without a platform capable of supporting 700MHz-plus chips. Yes, the 810e can support 133MHz bus speeds, but you can't really launch a high-speed 733Mhz chip on a board with slow on-board graphics, can you?"

Baker claimed the whole 820 delay debacle had been damaging to Intel. He believed it was the first time the chip giant had announced non-shipment of product release date. Baker claimed AMD has no such problems. "We officially launch the 700MHz chipsets today in the US. European manufacturers will follow with systems, usually taking around two weeks longer to bring systems to market. There is certainly sufficient production to ship in bulk immediately -- there has to be if we are to supply the likes of Compaq, for example."

Compaq is already advertising Presario 5900Z desktop consumer PCs on its website with "AMD Athlon processors up to 700MHz" onboard.

AMD said that prices of its existing range would remain unaffected by the new launch at this stage.

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