On Thursday, AMD released its new Phenom II processors. As DailyTech predicted the day before, the new processors came in a Phenom II X4 920 and an X4 940 quad core variant. The X4 940, dubbed the "Black Edition", is clocked at 3.0 GHz, while X4 920 is clocked at 2.8 GHz. Both processors have proved solid overclockers in early testing, falling just short of the Penryn and Nehalem (i7) Intel processors in terms of overclock, based on early testing.
The processors greatest advantage is price. The X4 920 retails at $235, while the X4 940 Black Edition retails at $275. A motherboard for the platform costs around $120 and memory comes at around $75. Together this is much cheaper than Intel's i7 platform, which has a processor cost of $295 for the i7 920 2.66 GHz model and a cost of $565 at Newegg for the i7 940 2.93 GHz model. It also does not require more expensive DDR3, which the i7 platform does. So while the i7 trumps the Phenom II significantly in performance, this is largely offset by a higher price.
Price wise, the Phenom II X4 940 is most comparable with Intel's Penryn quad-core, the Q9400 (2.66 GHz), while the 920 is similarly priced to the Q9300/Q8200. The Phenom IIs in initial testing appear to be the better pick at these price points.
Together with its already released 48xx series of ATI Radeon graphics cards and its 790 series chipsets, first released in November 2007, the new processor forms AMD's hot new Dragon platform.
The platform offers AMD's Fusion for Gaming technology, which suspends background tasks to channel extra resources into gaming. It also features AMD OverDrive, which allows an overclock to be more easily applied with a single button press, during system operation.
DailyTech spoke with sources at AMD who said that they expect Dragon-based desktops to be shipping at under $900 by the middle of the year. At this price point, and with its strong performance the platform could prove very dangerous to competitor Intel, already reeling from the beating NVIDIA's new Ion chipset is laying on its chipset offerings.
Coming off a turn-around victory with its 48xx series of graphics cards, AMD is looking to translate that success into the CPU realm. And while expectations were low among many consumers and those in the reporting community, assuming it has no supply issues; AMD seems to have pulled off a surprise. At their price points, the Dragon platform and the Phenom IIs appear poised to pull off a shocker, besting Intel's similarly priced CPUs, while continuing to outcompete NVIDIA's GPUs. However, in terms of the high-end of enthusiast products Intel's i7 platform still holds an edge.
One of the first Dragon models to ship will be the XPS 625, with a Dragon-based model priced at $1,749.
quote: It also does not require more expensive DDR3, which the i7 platform does.
quote: PC133 is cheaper than DDR2 as well. What's your point ?
quote: I did not forget about Reclaimer77. Read the above or there is the same copy below.
quote: I am an AMD fan
quote: Agreed, but its almost time we stopped thinking about dual core CPU's and moving forward, Quads are pretty much seen these days as the base, even for a HTPC.
quote: I found that Core 2 has problem providing performance in an 64-bit OS
quote: Current gen cpus are not at all bottlenecked in any games, and as far as i know, in other applications either.
quote: Something we've been sorely lacking for the last couple of
quote: As for the performance that Intel users have had for a year.... so what? Intel users had to pay a pretty hefty premium to get that performance a year earlier
quote: The point is that the Phenom II puts a certain level of performance in more peoples' reach, and will most likely make Intel parts more affordable, as well.
quote: As for the DDR3 experience being 'on top of that performance' - huh? It's part of what makes the i7 perform as well as it does
quote: And by the way, don't flatter yourself that Intel made the i7 to meet your 'requirements'.
quote: You would have to pay a premium a year ago to get the same performance you'd get from a Phenom II computer.
quote: I'm not sure why you disagree with the assumption that AMD releasing competitive chips will encourage Intel to reduce the pricing of their lineup
quote: But for Intel parts a year ago to be comparable with AMD's parts today, you really do have to factor in DDR3's advantage.
quote: And even if we don't talk about the i7, the point remains that top of the line parts are made for lifetime profitability
quote: And even if we don't talk about the i7, the point remains that top of the line parts are made for lifetime profitability - with the vast bulk of that profit coming from mainstream sales a year, two years, several years, after initial release. The design criteria that are used are not chosen to please enthusiasts. If they were, then the original Core, if not the Pentium 4, would have had an integrated memory controller, for example. Although enthusiasts do make themselves very happy with what they get.
quote: Now, correct me if I'm wrong (and I'm not), but shouldn't performance rise almost 1:1 with clockspeed if the test is CPU-bound? Yeah, I thought so.
quote: Rabid HardOCP Fanboy, Exhibit A.
quote: You can get a much better AMD setup than the equivalent priced intel setup with the new phenom IIs.
quote: but since they are not trying to design a hardcore top of the line cpu here, they simply designed it to be offered as a mainstream cpu
quote: if they wanted a fair comparison they should have taken a shanghai based dual opteron setup and compared that to the core i7 and then see who wins.
quote: the core 2 quad's are at eol (end of life)
quote: intel has already announced that they will be releasing the core i5 in the second half of this year, which is going to use a different socket and different chipset, support only dual channel ddr3 (instead of triple channel) and have an integrated PCI-E controller on die, which means new motherboads, not to mention that there are rumors of a 8 core 16 thread core i7, which is already rumored to require a new chipset.
quote: so no matter which way you go, in 6 months you will be the proud owner of an expensive, outdated platformed that gets slapped around by a setup costing a 3rd of a current core i7 setup.
quote: man, does the cpu market need a 3rd player badly.
quote: by end of life i meant that there will be no faster models released that you can upgrade to if you already own or buy a core 2 quad setup, the qx9770 is the best you can hope for and that's slower than the cheapest i7. eol does not refer to the products being taken off the market, it refers to the architecture reaching the maximum performance it will ever achieve.
quote: i'm opposed to intel?!? nothing is further from the truth, i am really looking forward to the core i5, seeing as how it will have the integrated PCI-E controller, larger caches (if you check out anandtech's interview with an intel engineer that worked on the i7's you will see that even now there are those within the team that feel the i7's don't have a large enough L2 cache, something they plan to fix with the i5).
quote: as for how an amd setup released 6 moths from now will slap around an i7 setup the answer is easy, most reviews have the 3 ghz phenom 2 reasonably close to the 920 in most benchmarks, now what do you think will happen if amd in fact does release a 6 core phenom 2 based cpu with a larger L3 cache, say something in the 12mb range? you really think that a core i7, any core i7, is going to be faster than a native 6 core, 12mb L3 cache having, phenom 2 based cpu?
quote: if i'm a "fan boy" of anything it's ibm's cell processor, or better yet sun's ultra sparc t2, seeing as how sun has released the design, blueprints and technology behind the processor to the open source community and there are several universities working on so-called "open sparc" cpu's, i'm hoping someone takes that technology and releases an x86 compatible 8 core 64 thread monster cpu that takes both intel's and amd's offerings to school.but i know that will never happen...
quote: Let me get this right, AMD is going to burn Intel with these new chips that barely stand next to Intel's year old line. Dang I'm an AMD fan but that is pure Fanboyism there.
quote: AMD is slower clock per clock, even with overclock...
quote: AMD is coming back, but Intel can just readjust their prices, because their core duo are 1 year old and they made the profit that was there to be made.
quote: I'm looking for them to finally put out something that is bug-free
quote: The X4 920 retails at $235, while the X4 940 Black Edition retails at $235.
quote: AMD is between a cock and a hard place right now