Chip prices take a tumble

Chip prices take a tumble

The ongoing CPU war between AMD and Intel has increased in intensity following massive price cuts across both ranges.

The drops represent some much needed CPR for the whitebox market, particularly with many local builders complaining of a flat market as consumers save their money to buy Windows Vista-loaded machines in early 2007.

Pioneer Computers managing director, Jeff Li, said an average of 50 per cent had been slashed from most AMD processors bought by the builder. He planned to roll the savings into new PC bundles.

Li predicted built-to-order prices would also drop by an average 15-20 per cent across the board.

"We're updating all of our desktop PC prices," he said. "There used to be at least $150 difference between AMD Sempron and Athlon64 processors, now it's something like $40."

Li said the price of an AMD Athlon 64X2 4800+ dual core processor had fallen more than 50 per cent from $850 to $400. Such price drops could serve to breathe life into an otherwise stagnant market.

Optima product manager, David Choi, had a similar price reduction story to tell regarding Intel processors.

"We have already reflected the price drops in our August catalogue," he said. "We're putting out a 3GHz Pentium 4 desktop with an LCD monitor for under $1000. Those kinds of prices were normally reserved for desktops built on Celeron processors."

A spokesperson for local builder and distributor, Synnex, said resellers would be able to best see the price cuts reflected transparently through its built-to-order system.

While agreeing the market could be revitalised through the new pricing, Choi said high-end, dual-core offerings, from either AMD or Intel, had not yet really caught on.

"There's still not much market awareness of dual-core processors," he said. "With this price drop, they fall to the former price of the Pentium 4 processors and that might change things."

The Synnex spokesperson said motherboards for dual-core processors remained relatively expensive and the most sales action might be seen in cut-price single core processors.

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