AMD drops chip prices

The company cuts prices on notebook and server chips, lopping as much as 31 percent off list prices for Athlon XP-M chips and as much as 35 percent off chips in the Opteron family.

John G. Spooner Staff Writer, CNET News.com
John Spooner
covers the PC market, chips and automotive technology.
John G. Spooner
3 min read
Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices dropped prices on its processors for notebooks and servers this week.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based AMD lopped as much as 31 percent off its list prices for Athlon XP-M processors and reduced prices on a handful of Opteron server chips by as much as 35 percent.

The company regularly changes its prices as a way to increase the competitiveness of its chips, foster demand for PCs or make room for new processors. AMD posted the new prices on its Web site Monday, and a company representative confirmed them Tuesday morning. AMD last cut its prices in May.

The Opteron cuts, the first for the chip line, follow recent reductions by Intel on the price of its Xeon server chip. AMD lowered the price of the Opteron 144, its top Opteron chip for single-processor workstations and servers, by 35 percent, cutting it from $669 to $438. AMD trimmed the price of its top Opteron for dual-processor machines, the Opteron 244, by 13 percent, taking it from $794 to $690.

The company also lowered prices on its Opteron 142, Opteron 240 and Opteron 242 models by between 10 percent and 34 percent. The chips now sell for $292, $256 and $455, respectively.

AMD lowered prices on Athlon XP-M processors by between 7 percent and 31 percent. Athlon XP-M chips are widely used in consumer notebooks. During May, more than a quarter of the notebooks sold at retail in the United States came with Athlon XP-M chips, according to data from the NPD Group.

Because AMD reduced the price of its most expensive mobile processor, all of its AMD Athlon XP-Ms now list for less than $200. The chipmaker's most expensive mobile Athlon chip, the desktop-replacement series Athlon XP-M 2800+, now lists for $185. AMD ratcheted down its price by 20 percent, from $230.

AMD's largest mobile chip price reduction, however, was 31 percent. It came on the desktop-replacement Athlon XP-M 2600+, which fell from $156 to $108.

The remaining chips in the desktop-replacement series, which features processors--including model numbers 1900+, 2000+, 2200+ and 2400+--designed for the largest notebooks, received cuts of between 8 percent and 20 percent. They now list for between $59 and $86, AMD said.

The company offers three versions of the Athlon XP-M. The desktop-replacement chip aims for the biggest laptops, while a mainstream version aims for thinner and lighter notebooks. A low-voltage version is offered for the tiniest machines, which typically weigh less than 4 pounds.

AMD's second-largest price cut came on its mainstream mobile Athlon XP-M 2500+. The company lowered that chip's price by 26 percent, from $134 to $99.

AMD dropped the price of the rest of its mainstream mobile Athlon XP-Ms by between 7 percent and 19 percent. Models including its 1800+, 1900+, 2000+, 2200+ and 2400+ now list for between $55 and $91.

Finally, the company cut prices on its low-voltage Athlon XP-M by between 11 percent and 20 percent. The chips, including model numbers from the 1500+ to the 2000+, now range in price from $57 to $112.

AMD's list prices are for processors purchased in lots of 1,000. Street prices on individual AMD chips often vary from list prices, as the company negotiates prices individually with distributors purchasing chips in 1,000 unit or greater quantities.