Facing a performance gap, AMD is introducing two new
quad core Athlon II CPUs, including the first processor below $100.
Just three months ago, AMD launched its first dual-core
Athlon II CPUs at similar prices. OEMs are loving this move, as
they will be able to market AMD's quad cores against computers with
Core 2 Duos at the same price point.
"The new AMD
quad-core processors offer the right balance between excellent
performance and price, and allow HP to continue to be a best-in-class
provider of consumer technology," said John Cook, a VP from
The Athlon II X4 630 and 620 CPUs run at 2.8GHz and 2.6GHz
respectively, with 2MB of L2 cache but no L3 cache. AMD's 45nm
process allows them to make these chips relatively cheaply, but it
will still have an effect on the company's gross margins. The
company expects these chips to be paired up with motherboards
using its 785G chipset, which has an integrated ATI Radeon 4200 GPU
and support for DisplayPort.
Currently, Intel's cheapest quad
core is the Core 2 Quad Q8400, selling at $163 in volume to
All of these new processor launches are in preparation
for the launch of Microsoft's Windows
7 on October 22, which is expected to be the catalyst for a wave
of PC purchases throughout the busy Christmas shopping season.
core CPUs have accounted for a small percentage of CPU shipments
until now because of high price premiums and lower single thread
performance in games. However, many games are now taking advantage of
multiple threads, and Windows 7 has also been given some enhancements
to improve multi-core performance.