Like previous Duron launches, AMD expects immediate availability for the Duron 900 in the retail channel, so you shouldn't run into any problems finding this chip online or at your local computer store. PC manufacturers will also have systems available that utilize the new chip starting today.
Here are the latest prices AMD charges its direct customers in 1,000 unit quantities:
|Duron Prices in 1,000 unit quantities (source: AMD)
Prices for the Duron 800 remain unchanged at $90 while the Duron 850 slips 7%, from $120 to $111. The introduction of the Duron 900 allows AMD to cease production of the Duron 750. This is important because it allows AMD to raise the average selling point (ASP) of its processors, effectively increasing profit margins on its Duron lineup of processors. In comparison to its previous prices, Duron's ASP has risen from $94 to $110, an increase of 15%. To an analyst or potential AMD investor, this is a good sign to see in a struggling market -- the company is actually increasing its profit margins in troubled times.
Despite increasing its ASP, AMD's Duron is still priced more affordably than the equivalent Intel Celeron. Intel's latest round of price cuts (which also occurred in early March) sliced Celeron 800 prices to $112 (from $138).
Keep in mind that these are the latest prices AMD and Intel charge their customers in 1,000 unit quantities. Actual street prices for Duron processors are significantly less (nearly 40% in the case of the Duron 800), while Celeron prices more closely resemble Intel's wholesale pricing. For example, retailers can be found selling Duron 800 processors for as little as $56 (Accubyte) on Pricewatch. In contrast, that same dealer charges $114 for the Celeron 800, with the lowest price starting at $113.
Duron 900 GeForce2 GTS system
Although AMD's current Duron core (commonly known by its codename of "Spitfire") has served the company well for the past nine months, AMD plans to shift production to its next revision of Duron, codenamed "Morgan" sometime during Q3 of this year.
Like Spitfire, Morgan will be based on AMD's existing 0.18-micron manufacturing process but will run at a lower voltage and generate less heat. For backwards compatibility with today's motherboards, Morgan will continue to utilize the Socket 462 interface currently used by existing Duron processors.
When overclocking our Duron 900 the first goal we wanted to hit was the 133MHz system bus. In our Athlon 1.3/1.33GHz review, we saw the ramifications of the faster bus; our 266MHz 1.2GHz Athlon system outran a similarly configured system at 1.3GHz. Fortunately, we were able to hit 133MHz with no problems.
Over the course of our overclocked phase of testing, the highest speed we could achieve with complete stability was 1104MHz (8.0x138) at 1.75V. While we were able to boot into Windows and even complete many tests at higher clock speeds, system stability wasn't the greatest, even with the voltage cranked up to as high as 1.85V.