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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

New Athlon Chip is the Fastest Yet

WASHINGTON -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc., chief rival of computer chip industry leader Intel Corp., has launched the personal computer industry's first 650-megahertz microprocessor, a chip called Athlon.

"With the debut of [Athlon], AMD is setting the pace in the megahertz race,'' said W.J. Sanders III, chairman and chief executive of AMD. Intel's top of the line Pentium III chip operates at 600 MHz.

Megahertz ratings, a measure of how often the chip cycles on and off electronically as it does its work, are one measure of speed, and important in impressing consumers. However, other factors such as chip and computer design can affect how fast a computer operates.

AMD stock rose $1.87 1/2 to close at $19.25 Monday. Still, analysts were skeptical of Athlon giving AMD a sustainable edge over Intel. Analysts feel the microprocessors now available on the market are powerful enough for both individual and corporate users and that more speed will not necessarily mean more market share for its maker.