The prices taken from Pricewatch this morning show how ridiculously overpriced Intel is still selling its processors. Comparing this graph with the performance numbers above makes you wonder why anyone would spend any money on Celeron or Pentium III. What's irritating is the fact that right now Duron 850 sells for exactly the same price as its bigger and faster brother Athlon 850. From that point of view there's obviously no point choosing Duron 850, because Athlon is clearly the more attractive processor. However, I expect Duron 850's price to drop under the price of Athlon 850 very soon. All in all each AMD-processor is almost obscenely cheap.
Duron 850 is the logical consequence to Intel's Celeron 800 launch and therefore nothing particularly exciting. The fact that Athlon 850 is already available at the same price point however doesn't make the new low-cost AMD-processor exactly attractive right now. Nothing has changed in terms of relative performance. Duron is still faster than Celeron, while selling at a lower price point as well.
Low-cost systems will become even faster, offering almost the same performance as a one-year-old high-end system. Duron's tough days in this segment should be over now that VIA's Apollo KM133 and SiS's 730 high-integration/low-cost chipset have become available. Buying Celeron today can only be seen as a mistake as this processor is slower and more expensive. From a common-sense point of view there's hardly any justification for Celeron at all. However, believe me, the PC business is as far from common sense as the Earth is distant from Andromeda. I have learned to live with it and it certainly gives me enough reasons to smile when walking through large PC retail shops while looking at their PC-offerings. Don't forget that we are facing 'reduced growth'. Let's feel a bit sorry for them.