Surprise, Surprise

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Intel will introduce .13 Northwood around January 7. This is old news, and no surprise.

At about the same time, AMD will introduce the XP2000. While the exact date is news, this isn’t a surprise, either.

The 2.2GHz and 2.0AGHz Northwoods will cost a lot of money. This is no surprise.

We don’t know what the XP2000+ will cost, and that may be not only a big surprise, but an unpleasant one.

At the top end, AMD’s prices for the XP have been about 10% less than what Intel charges for the equivalent processor. So, for instance, the price of an XP1900+ is about 10% less than the price of a 1.9GHz PIV.

However, Intel doesn’t plan on cutting the price of the 2GHz PIV all that much in January, down to roughly $350.

It will be interesting to see if AMD will continue to play follow the Intel leader and try to price the 2000+ on the north side of $300. My suspicion is they will try to shoot for at least $300 given the Intel shortages.

On the other hand, whether they can sustain that price after Christmas is at least doubtful. There does seem to be some pickup in demand, especially outside North America for Christmas. How well that holds after Christmas, with demand decreasing, remains to be seen.

I suspect AMD’s price on the 2000+ may prove to be the best barometer on the state of the CPU market we’re going to have the first quarter of 2002. Figure “normal” will be a gentle drift from $300 to about $250 at the time the 2100+ will come out a month or two afterwards. If it doesn’t drift, the market is tight. If the price clunks downward, it isn’t.

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