AMD's Athlon 64 3400+ processor largely will be aimed at high-end desktops, while the Athlon 64 2800+, 3000+ and 3200+ chips will go into notebooks.
The 3400+ chip will cost $417 in volume quantities, according to sources familiar with the company's plans. AMD also is expected to cut prices on existing chips.
Intel will soon counter AMD's lead with Prescott, an enhanced version of the Pentium 4 with additional multimedia instructions. But Prescott probably won't be.
High-end chips such as these sell in relatively low volumes. The Athlon 64, for instance, is sold in aPC under its Compaq Presario brand, but it's mostly seen in desktops from specialty makers such as Falcon Northwest. Still, word-of-mouth recommendations from the enthusiast crowd can be crucial in sales, according to executives from AMD and Intel.
Both companies also now sell desktop chips--the Athlon FX51 and the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition--that are repackaged server chips. Although fairly evenly matched, the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition scores slightly better on many tests, according to Tom's Hardware, another benchmarking site. These chips, however, sell in even lower volumes.