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AMD Athlons caught munching Durons

Processor price cuts cannibalise budget CPUs

It's the scrap heap for budget processor lines such as AMD's Duron and Intel's Celeron if PC Advisor readers are to be believed.

In a recent poll nearly two thirds of respondents (64.1 percent) indicated that both Duron and Celeron were becoming redundant in the wake of price cuts on mainstream processor lines such as the AMD Athlon and Intel Pentium 4.

A cursory glance at our latest Superbudget PC chart mirrors this view. Not one system houses a Duron or Celeron processor (in fact not one PC is powered by anything other than an AMD Athlon processor, but that's another story).

"You'd have to ask why anyone would accept the performance compromise you have to make with a Celeron or Duron processor," said PC Advisor reviews editor Ursula Tolaini.

But according to leading industry figures there is still a market out there for budget CPU lines. According to Evesham managing director Richard Austin, the likes of Duron and Celeron may have had it when it comes to consumer specifications "but in business and education, where cost is more of an issue and high performance is less of an issue, they still have a part to play".

Mesh's head of marketing, Andrzej Bania, told us: "There will always be a market for low-end products. Companies that are aiming to sell PCs at the very lowest end of the market [sub-£500] need to save every penny in order to achieve a sensible margin. For those companies, a £20 saving on the CPU might be the difference between success and failure."

AMD's Duron also has its supporters in the PC Advisor website forums.

Helproom leading light 'Isaac Newton' was impressed by the Duron's overclocking capabilities.

"It overclocks so high it's amazing," he says. According to Isaac, it is possible to crank Durons running at 700MHz "up to practically 1GHz".

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