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AMD has big changes with K10, including a new brand

Over the next two weeks AMD will slowly begin to introduce its new brand name for high end desktop CPUs.  The brand, Phenom, will succeed Athlon on all K10 offerings.  Dual-core Agena processors will be labeled as Phenom X2; quad-core Agena as Phenom X4.  The halo products, Agena FX and its family, will receive the brand name Phenom FX.

Phenom is pronounced as an abbreviated version of the word "phenomenal." AMD's  guidance states that the company will promote its Phenom X4 and X2 processors under the premise that Phenom allows its users to "experience the Phenomenal."

The company will still retain its Athlon and Sempron brand names -- Athlon on its mid-range products and Sempron on up the low-end.

Brand image is not the only nomenclature changing with AMD's next-generation processors. This summer, the company will start to phase out its descriptive SKU system for something a little more esoteric"Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 45W 1MB L2 Brisbane," for example, will be renamed the "AMD BE-2400."

AMD representatives would not reveal the naming strategy for its Agena, Kuma and Rana processors, though they were able to confirm the K10 family would get names similar to the rollout ocurring on the low-power 65nm processors.

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By James Holden on 5/2/2007 10:33:36 AM , Rating: 6

RE: Phenom?
By Pythias on 5/2/2007 10:53:52 AM , Rating: 5
WE anandtech and dailytech subscribers pride ourselves on tech savy. However, we are a very small percentage of the market.

*some assembly required, batteries not included, avoid skin contact, may cause artificial insemenation*

AD-men rule the world. :/

RE: Phenom?
By FITCamaro on 5/2/2007 11:59:33 AM , Rating: 5
*some assembly required, batteries not included, avoid skin contact, may cause artificial insemenation*


Nice. You forgot loss of vision, erectile dysfunction, and in some cases, death.

RE: Phenom?
By Nightskyre on 5/2/2007 3:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
and in some cases, death.
...and halitosis. Phenom is not for everyone. Consult your doctor before use.

RE: Phenom?
By encryptkeeper on 5/2/2007 4:36:37 PM , Rating: 2
...and halitosis. Phenom is not for everyone. Consult your doctor before use.

The Surgeon General also warns that Phenom may cause, heart disease, low birth weight, emphysema and high blood pressure.

RE: Phenom?
By UNCjigga on 5/2/2007 4:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
[LL Cool J] "Somethin like a Phenom-e-non! Something like a Phenom-e-non!" [/LL Cool J]

RE: Phenom?
By Psychless on 5/2/2007 5:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
Please consult a doctor before using Phenom processors if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have high blood pressure. Please leave at least 8 hours for sleep when you get tired of waiting for AMD to release 'Barcelona'. Be careful of operating vehicles directly after taking Phenom processors.

RE: Phenom?
By eek2121 on 5/8/2007 10:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
NOTE TO SELF: Go intel.

RE: Phenom?
By Pythias on 5/3/2007 3:34:43 AM , Rating: 2
I had to steal from Robin Williams.

RE: Phenom?
By PrezWeezy on 5/8/2007 7:29:51 PM , Rating: 2
Also known to cause cancer in California

RE: Phenom?
By frobizzle on 5/2/2007 11:02:37 AM , Rating: 2
Short for phenomenal I would guess.

Or... in Hungarian the word (spelled much differently) translates to delicious in English.

RE: Phenom?
By KristopherKubicki on 5/2/2007 11:03:28 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's a Bollywood band too.

RE: Phenom?
By slacker57 on 5/2/2007 11:20:11 AM , Rating: 3
Maybe they liked that short-lived (for good reason) show about a girl who was a Tennis "phenom."

Oh, god, why do I remember this?

RE: Phenom?
By zemane on 5/2/2007 1:05:02 PM , Rating: 3
It's also the name of Brazilian EMBRAER's executive jets:

RE: Phenom?
By marvdmartian on 5/2/2007 3:44:15 PM , Rating: 2
Don't feel bad. When I first read "phenom", I read it as "phlegm". I was like, "WTF????"

I must be tired!!! ;)

RE: Phenom?
By johnsonx on 5/2/2007 5:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
I told my wife the new name, and she got a puzzled look on her face and said "Yuck, it sounds too much like phlegm!".

So you're not the only one.

RE: Phenom?
By DaveSylvia on 5/2/2007 6:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe its just me but I've always heard and pronounced the word 'phenom' as fee-nom. A number of people are saying its sounds close to phlegm which leads me to believe that many say it like fen-num. How do most of you pronounce this ridiculous new brand name?!?!

RE: Phenom?
By lumbergeek on 5/2/2007 8:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct - the pronunciation of "Phenom" is "fee-nom" and is short for Phenominal which is another word for FANTASTIC. Those who would associte the word with mucus are obviously poorly educated when it comes to the english language.

It's actually a pretty good name IMO. I have been an AMD type since the AlthonXP first came out, though my current system is a Core2Duo. Bottom line - best bang for the buck is what I'll buy. The name is really irrelevant, but I'm an engineer and not a salesman, so....

RE: Phenom?
By johnsonx on 5/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Phenom?
By LuxFestinus on 5/3/2007 12:02:13 AM , Rating: 3

more like fi nom e nl. (fi-nom'?-n?l). The fi is the sound of fit .

RE: Phenom?
By johnsonx on 5/3/2007 6:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
English is so very irritating that way, isn't it? The word is spelled with an 'e', yet the dictionary says it's pronounced as an 'i'? Whatever. I've said feh-nominal and fi-nominal several times, and the difference is very hard to detect. Oddly, short words with precisely the same vowel sounds like 'pet' and 'pit' do sound different.

This is one thing I really liked about learning Italian: there are very precise pronounciation rules, and they always apply. a='ah', e='A', i='ee', o='oh', u='oo'. Every word, every time. I'm sure there are a few odd words where the rules are broken, but it's not like English where every third word needs it's own set of rules.

RE: Phenom?
By Scrogneugneu on 5/3/2007 7:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
You think english has too many exceptions?

Take a look at french, my friend...

RE: Phenom?
By johnsonx on 5/4/2007 12:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
I prefer not to.

By Chadder007 on 5/2/2007 10:32:52 AM , Rating: 2
Quit stalling and bring out the processors!!! All they seem to do lately is just talk and talk about the new processor but show us nothing.

RE: Argh!
By AnnihilatorX on 5/2/2007 10:48:08 AM , Rating: 2
Don't they have have an official debut date yet?

RE: Argh!
By Moishe on 5/2/2007 10:51:33 AM , Rating: 2
A new brand goes with a new core and this is part of that. Good thing is that the actual product should follow the brand and that means we should see something "soonish".

RE: Argh!
By Mitch101 on 5/2/2007 11:27:31 AM , Rating: 3
Sorry to repeat but here is why.

The K10 is faster than Penryn in non SSE4 benchmarks. Go ahead ask me where I heard this? Its an Intel leak not an AMD leak. Intel knows this and that is why they are trowing out SSE4 benchmarks out early but on non SSE4 benchmarks K10 is faster than Penryn. You heard me. As for why AMD is tight lipped is it needs to liquidate the excess Dell screwed them inventory. If AMD pre announces then AMD will end up holding excessive inventory on chips they might have a hard time unloading without losing a ton more money. Where the chips really shine is on the Multi-CPU server side.

So lets say AMD announces and releases benchmarks then their current chips K8 still in the channel stop selling all together. AMD doesnt have the inventory yet to do a full on release and the channel trickles in because no one wants current gen and they only want next gen K10. They will find themselves sitting on a ton of previous gen and barely able to keep up with the channel. Thankyou Dell! scumbags. So AMD chose to wait until they have a ton of chips in stock to flood the channel and hopefully eliminate the majority of K8 stock that Dell screwed them on.

RE: Argh!
By Dactyl on 5/2/2007 1:37:26 PM , Rating: 4
1: Faster how? Clock for clock? Or after you take into account Intel's 30%+ clock advantage?

2: How hard is it for the people who make games to use SSE4 instructions? How much will SSE4 instructions be used in next-gen video games?

3: AMD is currently short on inventory because of the deal with Dell. Are you saying AMD is trying frantically to sell off existing stock, and that announcing K10 would interfere with that?

AMD's current chips in the channel are already selling for very low prices, how would releasing K10 change that?

4: There is no way AMD is sitting on their K10 chips until they can amass a "ton" of them to "flood the channel." They would be selling them right now, at very high prices, to the enthusiasts. This would accomplish:
a: AMD would get more money per CPU by selling them now rather than later
b: AMD would get the money NOW, rather than later (it's in debt!)
c: AMD would show consumers that Intel doesn't have a monopoly on the best processors, which is important for AMD's image
d: it would give enthusiasts and AMD fanboys hope to hold out for K10 and not buy Core 2 systems.

RE: Argh!
By kemche on 5/2/2007 2:11:33 PM , Rating: 1
By your logic everyone is buying Core 2 right now and no one is buying any other processor.

Sorry to break it to you but Intel is still making Pentium 4 Dual core processor and Dell is still selling machines with these processors.


RE: Argh!
By Lazarus Dark on 5/2/2007 4:30:59 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I am about to order a pentium d 805 soon. why? because its 60 bucks w/free shipping at newegg! So I can build my system now with the 805 and in a couple months when the quad core 6600 comes down to 230$ or so I can get it and just throw away the 60 dollar proc. Or maybe even throw it on a cheap mobo and give it to my sister, she has a very low end 2 year old athlon right now, so an 805 with a slight overclock might be double or more performance for her.

RE: Argh!
By Spoelie on 5/4/2007 6:54:11 AM , Rating: 2
Get a 3600+ brisbane, it's also 60$, faster, cooler, and overclocks like mad. You're helping amd stay alive one second longer :D

Well the reusing motherboards won't be possible, but you can get a cheap one as well, only thing different than your current idea is that you buy it now instead when you give it to your sis :)

RE: Argh!
By Conman530 on 5/2/2007 8:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
Its called a "Pentium D," hello... dont diss the smithfield POS, that my system consists of!


Rating the Names and Suggesting the Obvious
By skroh on 5/2/2007 4:13:08 PM , Rating: 3
The names so far and their associations for me:

1. Athlon: athletic, decathlon, techno--cool!

2. Duron: durrrr, Durex condoms, hard to endure--bad!

3. Sempron: simpering, semi-porn--terrible!

4. Phenom: Phnom Penh, or self-promoting, spoiled, arrogant child athlete on the fast track to obscurity--stupid!

Finally, my obvious suggestion for a totally cool brand that ties alphabetically to the previous gen and was right in front of their noses: Agena! What was wrong with that? The Air Force used it as a code name for a rocket booster, how's that for cool associations? Sheesh! Who pays these idiots?!?

RE: Rating the Names and Suggesting the Obvious
By Psychless on 5/2/2007 5:10:28 PM , Rating: 3
A company who had a negative $574 million income last year who apparently has nothing better to do except rename their processors and talk about how good Barcelona will be. I wonder how much good renaming thier processors will do for them.

By EmperorofMu on 5/2/2007 5:18:07 PM , Rating: 3
I also vote for "Fastest GT." Genius. What's wrong with your "Agena" name? vAgena anyone? Plus it sounds too close to the soon to fail physics card company.

By johnsonx on 5/2/2007 5:18:13 PM , Rating: 3
yes, indeed, Agena would be a perfectly good brand name. MUCH BETTER than Phenom.

It occurs to me now though that since I almost exclusively use AMD's low and mid-range processors, this stupid Phenom name won't come up too often for me. As long as the sub-$100 CPU's keep the Athlon and Sempron names, I'll be ok. I never would have imagined though that AMD would come up with a new name that would make me happy with Sempron!

By zander55 on 5/2/2007 6:58:46 PM , Rating: 1
*sigh* how soon superior performance and price make us forget how fucking stupid core 2 duo sounds.

i'm glad to to see everyone is coming back to their senses. who else is going to boycott Phenom processors with me?

By Spoelie on 5/4/2007 6:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
I for one like the new name. Hmm phenom, venom, fenix, dunno

Besides, a new name is a good way to differentiate, Athlon name is seen as inferior to core 2. New processor, new name. Intel didn't stay with their Pentium brand either did they, after it was tarnished with the prescott line.

There will always be nay-sayers.
vAgena, lol

By BinmanUK on 5/2/2007 12:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
Lets hope Intel and AMD never hook up to do a processor. We could end up with a Pentathlon :).


RE: Urgh..
By lagomorpha on 5/2/2007 1:23:21 PM , Rating: 5
aww and I was actually hoping they'd just call the dual core CPUs Biathlons

RE: Urgh..
By Pythias on 5/3/2007 3:33:25 AM , Rating: 2
....or the "Extreme Edition Terminator Elite Pro GT FX". It even makes julienne carrots!

By Moishe on 5/2/2007 10:49:36 AM , Rating: 2
I think the "Athlon" brand is a little old. About time they came up with a new brand. Great timing as well to release a new brand with K10.

I like the use of Phenom, it's cool like Athlon was and not exactly a word. Reminds me of the overused "Venom".

RE: cool.
By slacker57 on 5/2/2007 11:14:22 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it is a real word. From Websters:
Etymology: by shortening
: PHENOMENON; especially : a person of phenomenal ability or promise

It's hard to say strange words aren't "real" words anymore. Hell, "stick-to-itivness" is a real word now, anything can be a real word.

I feel like this is somewhat different from "Athlon." Athlon was cool but didn't mean anything. This is a real term that sounds unequivocally self-important, so it'll be like walking a tight rope -- if they're are phenomenal, they'll get a lot of cheesy puns about it, if they are less than phenomenal, there will be more criticism than there would have been had they not chosen this naming convention.

RE: cool.
By Cobra Commander on 5/2/2007 3:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
Well it is slang, but it's obviously derived from "phenomenal". I shouldn't be so surprised - our vocabulary is so limited and dull the last few decades.

RE: cool.
By Bigginz on 5/3/2007 9:38:15 AM , Rating: 2
I like Phenom. When I first read the name I thought of "Venom." Now I pronounce it "fee-nom."

Athlon has been around for a long time and needed to be replaced.

By lagomorpha on 5/2/2007 11:34:21 AM , Rating: 3
Sounds to much like phlegm

RE: icky
By lagomorpha on 5/2/2007 11:41:04 AM , Rating: 3
On the other hand I never thought the name "Wii" would catch on in English speaking countries and we all saw what happened. If the new CPU fails to deliver I think the mucous jokes are going to come much to easily.

I hate this name
By johnsonx on 5/2/2007 12:05:46 PM , Rating: 4
OK, I've hated AMD names before; I wasn't at all fond of Duron, and Sempron always rubbed me the wrong way. Turion is awkward too... any time I mention it to a customer they say tur-what? Athlon I always thought was a great name though.

But this... this... Phenom.... yuck. I'm just trying to picture myself discussing it with a customer, and it isn't going well in my head at all. The customer is laughing, and asking about Intel Core2 Duo...

RE: I hate this name
By Tedtalker1 on 5/2/2007 1:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
You can allways say,"Yeah phenom-It's the Bomb!"

Should call it Gonad crusher
By cornfedone on 5/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Should call it Gonad crusher
By Moishe on 5/2/2007 2:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
it's possible.... but not for sure. AMD has almost always followed Intel. They have proven they can crush gonads but it is by no means a given.

And not that this is a popularity contest, but the fanboys sure seem to think your comment is somehow "negative" LOL... bunch of nutcakes. :)

RE: Should call it Gonad crusher
By johnsonx on 5/2/2007 5:21:23 PM , Rating: 2
cornfedone and beenthere get rated down just for being themselves. His post is stupid anyhow, and deserves the negative rating.

RE: Should call it Gonad crusher
By Spoelie on 5/4/2007 7:07:19 AM , Rating: 2
AMD followed?? They haven't in the last decade, the K6 series was their last. The first K7 iteration with its intel-inspired slot design but own EV6 bus marked the departure. Since then they both had their own mantras on computing and from 2003 on it has been Intel who is following AMD.

Proper Pronunciation and Origin
By Zhoul on 5/2/2007 11:55:57 PM , Rating: 2
Phenom is NOT pronounced like "Venom" or "Phlegm". It is "FEE-nom". Not "Feh-num".

In the WWE (wrestling), they have been calling the "Undertaker" character "The Phenom" for almost 15 years. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the marketing people at AMD are fans of the Undertaker.

At any rate, as several people have mentioned, "phenom" is a derivation of the word "phenomenal". But when you chop of the "-enal", you change the pronunciation and place emphasis on the first syllable.

RE: Proper Pronunciation and Origin
By SavagePotato on 5/3/2007 10:55:38 AM , Rating: 1
Personally I don't see homo-erotic sweaty men jumping on each other in tights the ultimate image of a next generation processor.

Im just going to be referring to them as AMD BE-xxxx minus the moniker thank you.

By mcsnet on 5/3/2007 2:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
You're just biased towards the likings of bald blue guys with expressive eyes to sell you your next CPU.

AMD just needs a pink man group. No better way to make someone understand what the phenom is.

Awww man...
By DEVGRU on 5/2/2007 10:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
I thought we'd moved passed new "performance ratings" and name changes. Looks like AMD is being influanced by the name-games brought about by the GPU wars.

Either that or the new marketing guy decided he wanted a raise...

RE: Awww man...
By Seymourbbuts on 5/2/2007 6:26:45 PM , Rating: 2
Please correct me if I'm wrong, I don't believe the "performance ratings" were from the GPU wars. Instead, try the CPU wars. When AMD first had processors that clock-for-clock were better than Intel's people were still buying the Intel processors because they had a higher speed and the average consumer believed that Higher Speed = Faster Processor. So AMD needed a way to make their "slower" processors seem as good as their "faster" Intel counter parts. Therefore the "performance ratings" were required for the average consumer to realize that the AMD processors were better than the Intel ones.

By 13Gigatons on 5/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Heh
By SavagePotato on 5/2/2007 4:14:44 PM , Rating: 4
Hope you got your wallet ready for the phenomenal Intel price hike to follow while you are cheering the demise of AMD.

I think the laughing will stop when the top end chips approach 2 grand.

By GlassHouse69 on 5/3/2007 1:23:54 AM , Rating: 1
Athlon was like a marathon. or Decathalon.

a long runner, arduous, competitor type.

Pentium = winner, pinnacle, already there. the Ium, stands for metal, solid, has that metallic machine ring to it. perfect marketing word for a chip

Athlon = Underdog = nice to see fight but for business you buy the pinnacle already there.

Phenom. takes the PENM from pentium.
Is a sci-fi word
Enigmatic, yet out of this world, above this world.
Nothing to do with athlon besides the ON. you associate it with athlon in your mind somehow mildly.
Great term, looks awesome with X2 X4 after it. very alien sci fi yet has polish.

Core 2 duo. thats freaking retarded name. 2 duo is redundant, core is ok though. word number word glues into your memory VERY well. but its a stupid word number word. Duo is like dynamic duo. now, I love Batman and robin, but that is the only pleasant reference to duo that comes to mind.

Phenom. thats hot. green athlon = old school 80's runner with addidas nylon shorts and white/green sneakers. ew.

RE: good
By tjr508 on 5/3/2007 4:32:24 AM , Rating: 2
And I always thought "pent" was just a fancy word for "five"...

RE: good
By GlassHouse69 on 5/3/2007 11:30:29 PM , Rating: 1
well, if you sold cookies on the street, maybe, but not when you are trying to mind screw 5 billion people.

im a psychotherapist and I am starting my own research group in NYCity at the moment. I know all about mind screwing :(

Pent is the "it makes sense yeah" then the subconscious reacts to the "no it can't be that" things, and it like rapes your mind gently, with a smile.

WWE commentator:
By Sunbird on 5/2/2007 1:31:52 PM , Rating: 2
"The Phenom has entered the ring. How will Batista fare agaisnt the Phenom, the undying Undertaker?"

RE: WWE commentator:
By Cobra Commander on 5/2/2007 4:05:43 PM , Rating: 1
Is that funny if you like watching fake wrestling or something?

By FakeDetector on 5/2/07, Rating: 0
RE: Yo
By jonmcc33 on 5/3/2007 7:40:31 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. Changing a name will not make the product better. Intel managed to improve performance from the Pentium to the Core 2 to the (codename) Penryn with each generation. AMD hasn't done anything to improve their CPU since the Athlon 64 X2 came out.

RE: Yo
By MrKaz on 5/7/2007 10:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm on:
Yes you are right the Pentium 3 was much worst than the Pentium4 (willaty), then the Pentium 4 (northwood) was even much better than the willaty, then Intel even surprised us with presshot, presshot was beyond belief VS the northwood, almost dig a grave to AMD. Presshot 2M was impressive. Then Intel even surprised us with superb dual core performance and implementation with the Pentium D (Smithfield).

Yes you are right Intel is much better. Even the change Pentium4 to Core 2 didn’t do any good to Intel, 4 must be better than 2, right?

Don't like the name
By mindless1 on 5/2/2007 12:37:42 PM , Rating: 2
Forget Phenom, I vote they change all processor names to "Fastest GT". How can they go wrong if they have the Fastest GT processor?

By hnau on 5/2/2007 1:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
scrapping the XXXX+ naming scheme is a good move. But Phenom? WTPH? is right...

AMD really continues to suck at naming their processors. This is terrible.

RE: ...
By Reynod on 5/20/07, Rating: 0
By Howard on 5/2/2007 3:33:00 PM , Rating: 1
What a ridiculous name. What marketing team approved that one? Focus groups, anyway?

Bueller? Bueller?

RE: Wow
By Howard on 5/2/2007 3:33:14 PM , Rating: 1
Damn it, I meant "anyone", not "anyway".

Target audience
By kitchme on 5/2/2007 6:02:44 PM , Rating: 2
I always wander where are those people who are being targeted by this marketing. Phenom - I guess it sounds a bit like Venom when you say it quickly...then it's not so bad.
I don't really care what the name is, I just hope they continue being competitive...I hope so.

By zedd2 on 5/2/2007 11:58:29 AM , Rating: 1
So you say there will be a new processor brandname/moniker, and there will be a new one, as well. Then why do you say they won't use them? Like:
"Athlon 64 X2 4000+ 45W 1MB L2 Brisbane," for example, will be renamed the " AMD BE-2400 ."
It's like you were said Intel will call it's CPU's like "Intel E6600". Makes no sense.
I think the above one will read like this, instead: "AMD Athlon BE-2400".
So, what's really change is the new numbering system, instead of the PR rating, and that there will be an antecedent (BE/LE/etc.) to tell/code some other information, like TDP. (Or perhaps, there won't be a X2/X4, but the first munber will tell the munber of cores.)

let the misspellings commence
By neon on 5/2/2007 12:01:44 PM , Rating: 1
After a long time reading about "Athalon" processors - even now, there are plenty of Athalons on eBay - will we now read about "Phenonom", "Phonon", and "Penalon" processors?

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh
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