Perennial challenger to Intel in microprocessors AMD has a new plan to entice buyers: put four-way servers in the same price bracket as two-way servers today when it launches its Opteron 'Maranello' platform later this month (full story here).

Leslie Sobon, VP of product and platform marketing at the chip maker, said there had been an unwarranted high price for four-socket products but new systems using the 8/12-core 'Magny-Cours' processor would change that.

"The 4P tax has arbitrarily kept the market very small at about five per cent of units and shrinking," she says. "We're asking 2P [servers] to do an awful lot here."

Of course, Intel could swat AMD by dropping prices but that sort of pricing trick is rendered less likely to occur by the EU's judgement last year that Intel had used unjust tactics in order to maintain its dominant market share. Sobon also reasoned that AMD's architecture – whereby Bios, drivers and memory speeds are shared across processors – makes it easier for the company to switch pricing and at the same time provide customers with the ability to move without affecting core infrastructure.

Separately, Sobon said AMD will offer PC makers the option of peel-off stickers with the chip-maker’s branding or even no sticker at all.