The Athlon XP 1800+, which sources say will be released Tuesday, is currently being advertised by resellers for $254 and $255 on Price Watch, a shopping site dedicated to computers. Atacom, a California-based reseller, won't ship the part until after the chip comes out, company representatives said.
Advertisements are also popping up for an Athlon XP 1500+ computer from Fujitsu-Siemens for 1,022 euros, or $939.
Athlon XP is the latest version of AMD's flagship processor. The upcoming chips feature improvements that allow the processor to run on less power and thus produce less heat.
Additionally, AMD will try to popularize a new naming convention that does not feature megahertz, the typical way of designating a chip's speed. The Athlon XP 1800, for example, will run at 1.5GHz. The new naming convention is justified by AMD under the principle that the 1.5GHz Athlon stacks up with a 1.8GHz Pentium 4 in terms of performance on typical computing tasks. The "XP" part is also new.
The posted prices closely match the price of the 1.8GHz Pentium 4, which sells for around $256.
An AMD representative declined to comment on unannounced products, but the company has said that the XP chips come out next week.
Processor prices have declined this year more than normal due to sluggish sales and intense competition between Intel and AMD. AMD said Friday that it will report a pro-forma loss of approximately $90 million to $110 million due to price pressures.
Chips from the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chipmaker often sell at discounts from the "official" wholesale prices because of the way AMD sells its chips. Distributors and major PC makers often get substantial discounts from AMD on orders of over 1,000 chips. These chips then eventually find their way to the "gray" market of unauthorized dealers.
Partly because of internal antitrust policies, Intel offers much more modest discounts on its processors. Consequently, gray market prices for Intel chips generally remain slightly above the wholesale price.
Staff writer Kai Schmerer contributed to this article from Germany.