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AMD: No Single Cores Left Behind

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Sometimes two processor cores aren't any better than one.

Despite introducing Athlon 64 X2 desktop PC and Opteron server processors, with dual cores or two separate processors in the same package, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. says it will continue to tout single-core processors for certain applications.

For one, the company plans to continue offering single-core Athlon 64 FX chips-likely a 2.6GHz Athlon 64 FX-57 that will arrive within weeks-for gaming desktops.

The chip maker also continues to tout its single-core Athlon 64 line for "mainstream" or somewhat less expensive desktops, many of which are used for everyday business or home computing tasks, such as word processing or checking e-mail.

But in a slight change of plans, AMD no longer intends to deliver new, single-core Athlon 64s this year, a company executive said. It had been expected to bring out an Athlon 64 4200+ soon. The decision eliminates overlap between the single-core Athlon 64 and dual-core Athlon 64 X2 chips, whose model numbers start at 4200+. They are due in desktops in June.

While AMD is holding back new single-core chips for mainstream PCs, its decision still underscores the fact that, despite the explosion of dual-core PC processor introductions of late-Intel launched its dual-core Pentium Extreme Edition 840 on April 18, just ahead of AMD's April 21 launch, and plans to offer dual-core Pentium D for mainstream machines this quarter-single-core chips will continue on through at least 2006.

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