The new Athlon based on AMD technology with a 0.18 micron manufacturing process, 512KB of second level external cache and bus support up to 200MHz. With the crossing of the 1 GHz barrier – states the AMD press office – our company has marked a historic moment in the chip industry, equal to that of overcoming the sound barrier by Chuck Yeager. In reality, beyond the symbolic and marketing value, consumers could wait much longer before they can enjoy actually the benefits of the 1 GHz processor. The quantities will initially be very limited and the only manufacturers to have machines of this type listed right away (with deliveries at the end of March) will be Compaq and Gateway. All other customers should have chips, even if not always in huge quantities, starting in April. In addition to this, the price factor remains an important variable. According to some estimates, CPUs at 1 GHz will not cost less than $ 3,000, a considerable figure in the PC world. In any case, it would be short-sighted to consider today's minimal or irrelevant announcement. And this is all the more true when, looking at the event with the eyes of Mac users, it is considered that Motorola is not able, and who knows how much, to push its processors more in l of the threshold of 500 MHz. With an opponent who has Faster double CPUs at much lower prices Apple's marketing now stands with remarkably blunted claws. It is not easy, nor productive (and perhaps not even true) to explain to everyone that Intel's and AMD's GHz is not equivalent to the 500 MHz of PPC. We postpone any reflection to an article that we intend to post in the coming days; here we only note that at this point Apple and Motorola (and IBM) have only two roads left: either close the platform in a niche universe or try to fight on the same level. Consumers, in particular those "conversi" from the Windows world that constitute an important base for the expansion of the installed base, rightly or wrongly, concern only the numbers and numbers now more than ever are unequivocally, in favor of the PC world .