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The competition raging between archrivals AMD and Intel has just increased a notch. It's a bit of a stretch to consider this competition as a special form of class struggle from a business standpoint. Critics with philosophical leanings interpret a "class struggle" as a society split into two castes, one of which continually gives while the other continually takes. Although this might be the case in some areas - it doesn't hold water in the processor business. After all, long gone are the days when AMD played the role of the outsider, and when innumerable publications all over the world endeavored to emphasize the positive sides of the assumed "weaker and vulnerable" AMD.
Our last test focused exclusively on comparing the top models from AMD and Intel. A company's top-of-the-line models are, after all, its flagship - this is as true for the Pentium 4/2000 as it is for the Athlon XP 1800+. But only a handful of users actually buy these expensive products - ultimately, a medium-range processor costs considerably less than its faster big brother, and provides almost the same performance. For this reason, we've lined up all the Athlon XP processors available against comparable Pentium 4 CPUs. AMD currently offers the Athlon XP in four performance levels: the XP 1500+ (1333 MHz), the XP 1600+ (1400 MHz), the XP 1700+ (1467 MHz) and the XP 1800+ (1533 MHz), and another model will soon be introduced. The Intel Pentium 4 comes in just as many flavors, running the gamut from 1400 MHz to 1500 MHz, 1600 MHz, 1700 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz, all the way to the top-of-the-line 2000 MHz model. We tested a total of 12 processors in this comparison.