AMD's Athlon CPU surpasses Intel Pentium III

Advanced Micro Design (AMD) has released its latest challenger to the Intel Pentium III and this time the perennial underdog has got a winner on its hands: AMD's 600 and 650 MHz Athlon (K7) microprocessors beat the Intel Pentium III handily in just about every benchmark test there is. And for the first time, AMD, which generally makes chips for the sub-$1000 PC market, finds itself on the top of the performance charts.

AMD is making the Athlon available in 500, 550, 600, and 650 MHz versions, which will sell for $325 to $1000 each. Perhaps most intriguingly, current generation Athlons requires a high-speed 200 MHz system bus, double the speed of Intel's Pentium II/III/Xeon bus. And the Athlon ships in a black plastic cartridge that looks suspiciously similar to the Pentium II though it has a completely different connector.

Athlon reviews and benchmarks are quickly making their way across the Net. If you're looking for a thorough and technical review, I recommend Tom's Hardware Guide.

Welcome to the big leagues, AMD. We knew you could do it

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