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Review: AMD 850MHz Duron (Page 1/7)

Posted: January 13, 2001
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen


2001 hasnít even gone past 3 weeks yet and already we have another processor release from AMD. As far as things look, AMD isnít going to slow down anytime soon. With the competition as fierce as it is between Intel and AMD, things will just get rougher this year than last year.

There are three distinct markets in the processor industry and the one Iím focusing on today is the value market. With that stated, todayís item in limelight is AMDís 850MHz Duron processor.

Update: Because another unnamed site decided to break NDA agreement and post their review before official time, I decided to post this article a day or so later.

Just yesterday it seems, Intel introduced its first ever 100MHz FSB Celeron processor running at 800MHz. Not sitting around and letting Intel tie it in the MHz war, AMD decides to retaliate.

Duron Support

By now, everyone knows that the Duron hands down outruns its competing Intel counterpart, the Celeron, in many categories. But somethingís amiss. If the Duron is so good and considering that its price is well below that of a similar Celeron, why is the Celeron still in the lead of user support?

The simple answer is that there hasnít been a viable platform for the Duron to live on. Considering that the Duron is a value processor, it must co-exist with a value platform, but all current platforms were costly -- motherboards were priced even higher than the Duron itself.

Then thereís the issue of having chipsets with integrated features such as video and sound. After all, this is a value platform. OEMs like to go with the cheap and affordable route, especially during high buying seasons.

Fortunately, things are changing. VIA and SIS are introducing integrated chipsets and finally giving a home to the Duron. VIA is going to distribute its KM133 chipset and SIS will follow suit with its 730S chipset.

Having these chipsets will give the Celeron platform a run for its money -- itís good to see both sides balance.

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