Next Couple Months
AMD has a conference call yesterday. You can see the videocast yourself here.
For the person waiting to buy a high-end Ahtlon DDR system, the news wasn’t too great. AMD plans to announce Palomino at the end of the year, but volume availability isn’t expected until the end of March.
So getting that overclocked 1.5Ghz system may be more March-April than January-February.
If you’re in a situation where you just can’t wait that long, probably the best bet is to get the DDR mobo and stick a cheap Duron in there temporarily.
I don’t think you can count on taking 950Mhz or 1Ghz TBirds and overclocking them to around 1.3Ghz in a DDR board quite yet, either. Someone wrote me today to tell me that Compaq is sending people 1.1Ghz rather than 1.2Ghz systems because they’re having problems with the 1.2Ghz systems.
I have no idea what’s wrong, and it may well have nothing to do with the CPU. Not like you can buy a DDR board at the moment, anyway, so if that’s what you had in mind, just chill a bit.
Per DDR mobos themselves, we’re supposed to be getting a preproduction model, but that won’t be for a couple more weeks yet, so that should give you the notion that we’re not going to be seeing these hit the marketplace in the next couple weeks.
We also got our hands on DDR, but we’re still at the engineering sample point. That’s another indicator the DDR Era isn’t imminently upon us.
Down The Road
AMD essentially confirmed what we had thought for the latter part of the year: .13 micron migration and Clawhammer around the end of the year.
They did say Clawhammer would be three times as fast as a 1Ghz Athlon. No, if you need a new system, not going to suggest you wait THAT long. Looks like a 2002 product, though.
The Empire Strikes Back
In a phrase, .13 micron Willamette. Forget PIIIs except Coppermine-Ts as an upgrade chip.
From an overclocking perspective (translation: cheap, overclockable processors), 2001 will look like the inverse of 2000. The year 2000 started with overclocking Coppermines, went into a lull after cB0 came in and optimal speeds for that chip became affordable, and picked up again with the AMD chips.
In 2001, we expect AMD to grab the attention during the first half of the year, another lull, then we expect the overclocker’s attention to shift back to Intel as the .13 micron Willamettes become affordable towards the end of the year. The answer to those thinned-down Willies will be Clawhammer, but we expect the thinned-down Willies to rule the O/Cing roost for at least a while in 2001/2.
We’re probably looking at 2.5-3Ghz towards the end of the year, which isn’t quite as good as it sounds, but far from bad; a 3Ghz Willy would probably be the equivalent of a 2.4Ghz PIII, which still looks pretty good for a year’s progress.