AMD's Duron Reaches The Giga Hertz Barrier

AMD Launching The Launch

You might find the headline a bit wacky, but it is just trying to describe AMD's latest coup. Today AMD is starting to officially ship Duron processors running at a core clock of 1000 MHz or 1 GHz. For some strange reason however, AMD's marketing department issued the press release announcing this event one day early, catching most publications by surprise, who had been prepared to publish their articles today rather than yesterday. The new pricing, which you will find further down the article, reached the reviewers at the same time as anyone else, because AMD was seemingly unable to inform us prior to the press release. You might find this whole issue rather meaningless, but it actually shows the state of AMD right now. I'd say it's best described with the words 'pure chaos', meaning 'more chaos than what we are already used to' from the past.

Duron Now With 'Morgan'-Core

It's usually not very easy to get particularly excited about the release of a microprocessor that is running just a few percent faster than its predecessor of the same type. It is true that those articles always find a surprisingly large amount of readers, but for a reviewer it simply means another set of benchmarks combined with the surprising comment that this new processor is indeed a bit faster than the previous one. This time the story isn't quite as plain though. Since the recent release of Athlon MP and AMD's latest mobile processors we have already come to know AMD's advanced versions of Athlon and Duron processors. The desktop system mass market however had so far not been blessed with any of AMD's advanced processor versions. These times are finally coming to an end. The new 1 GHz Duron comes equipped with AMD's stripped-down version of the already known 'Palomino'-core, which goes by the name 'Morgan'. Here are the differences over previous Durons:

  • 180,000 more transistors, from 25 million to 25.18 million
  • Different die size of 106 mm² and a different die shape
  • 3DNow! Professional = full Intel SSE (streaming SIMD extensions) support
  • Hardware auto data pre-fetch
  • Reduced power consumption
  • Running at 1.75 V, max current 26.3 A, max. power 46.1 W
  • Thermal diode (?)