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AMD counters Intel with new 350-MHz processor

August 31, 1998
Web posted at: 11:00 AM EDT

by James Niccolai

(IDG) -- Advanced Micro Devices will ratchet the speed of its K6-2 microprocessors up another notch Thursday with a version running at 350 MHz, a company spokesperson said Friday.

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AMD will position the chip as a viable competitor to Intel Corporation's Pentium II processors in the market for performance desktop PCs, spokesperson Scott Allen said. The chip includes AMD's graphics-enhancing 3DNow technology, which will make the K6-2 an attractive processor for users running 3D applications including video games, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with Dataquest in San Jose, California.

The chip also includes a 100-MHz front-side bus--a performance-boosting feature that increases the speed at which the processor communicates with the rest of the system--up from the 66-MHz front-side bus in AMD's 333-MHz chip. The increased bus speed alone should improve overall system performance about 15 percent over the 333-MHz version, Brookwood said.

Intel on Monday released its fastest Pentium II processor yet, which runs at 450-MHz and also includes a 100-MHz front-side bus.

Whether users opt for an AMD or an Intel-based system, they'll get a good deal for their money. "The winner in all this is always the buyer of the system, because you get a lot of performance," Brookwood said.

AMD would not disclose pricing on Thursday, nor would it say which PC makers plan to offer the chip in their systems. A source close to AMD said IBM plans to include the device in its Aptiva desktop line. Hewlett-Packard, Acer America, Everex, and CTX Computer, a subsidiary of Taiwanese firm Chuntex Electronics, also currently offer K6-2 processors in some of their desktop systems.

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