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Monorail goes with AMD

Monorail introduces a low-cost line with AMD processors, another sign of the chipmaker's strength in the sub-$1,000 market.

Monorail introduced a line of low-cost computers built with chips from Advanced Micro Devices, yet another sign that the Intel rival is ruling the roost in chips for the sub-$1,000 PC market.

Like Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Compaq, Monorail is working to meet rising demand for inexpensive computers. In September, nearly half of all systems sold for less than $1,000, according a report from ZD Market Intelligence, and like its better-known rivals, Monorail is using non-Intel processors to cut costs.

For low-cost PCs, AMD's K6-2 is becoming the chip of choice, garnering 68 percent share of sales for sub-$1,000 PCs, with Intel making up 16.2 percent and Cyrix making up 15.6 percent.

AMD registered 35.8 percent share of all retail systems sold in September, followed by the Intel Pentium II and Intel Celeron with 28.2 percent and 9.6 percent respectively, the report said.

The new Monorail models start at $699 and top out at $799 without a monitor. IBM last week released a $599 PC based around its own processor.

Monorail, which outsources most manufacturing and distribution functions, is offering a desktop PC with a 300-MHz AMD K6-2 processor, 48MB of memory, CD-ROM, 56-kbps modem, and a 4.3GB hard disk drive for $699. A system with a 350-MHz K6-2 processor and 64MB of memory is priced at $799. The company is also touting the inclusion of AGP graphics accelerator cards with 4MB of memory.