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Reviewed By: Carl Nelson [11.15.01]
Manufactured by: AMD
Suggested Price: $89.99 Find a MUCH lower price on iBuyer!


It's quite obvious that the Duron 1.1 lacks what it takes to keep up with a lower-end Athlon, even when using the same clock and Frontside Bus speed.

The reason for this is simple: Why would AMD want their products perceived as 'budget CPUs' to compete directly with their high end platform?

Although the Morgan core, and the features it brings to the table, obviously give some overall improvement to the Duron, it still can't keep up with the Athlon, and that is just fine by AMD.

However, the problem lies in price - The Duron is only a few dollars cheaper than the Athlon at similar speeds.  Why on earth would you buy this CPU then? The Duron is a budget CPU, and performs like one when compared to the high-end Athlon.  The high-end Athlon, however, is not priced like a high-end CPU! Thanks to heavy competition in the high-end market, Athlon prices have been dropping faster and more steadily than any other CPU I can imagine, and it continued to do so until it got to the level of AMD's budget CPU.

hardCOREware readers, and the hardcore PC enthusiasts that aren't readers, will definitely want to skip the Duron right now, even as a budget CPU.  And, as can be seen in the real-world office productivity and content creation tests, even the business user will have no need for a budget CPU when a high-end one can be had for the same price.

Looking to the future, things may be different.  If you've kept your eye on our Weekly CPU Price List, you've likely noticed that as soon as a CPU is discontinued, the price raises significantly over a period of time.  With AMD focusing on its Palomino CPU's entirely as a high-end solution, the old Athlons will become harder and harder to find, and eventually the prices will go up (if you can find one at all).  At that time, the Morgan-based Durons will still be going down in price.  This would be the time to reconsider buying a Duron... Likely it would be the only CPU in its range that is easy to find, and with a reasonable price! Only time will tell...

It's nice to see that unlike Intel, AMD isn't afraid to add new features to their budget products.  While the Celeron has been getting more and more stale with every release, the Duron is continuing to innovate.  I just can't wait for AMD to put at least an extra 64K of cache on the chip ;)

The Final Word 

At the ~1000 Mhz range, you need not look further than the Athlon for your solution.  Same price, better performance.