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AMD puts quad core chips with only three operational cores to some use.  (Source: Advanced Micro Devices)
AMD's triple-core CPUs bridge the quad-core gap at dual-core prices

The industry and its consumers knew they were coming and who they were coming from but the "when" part was the biggest question until today. AMD has officially launched the Phenom X3 8000 series desktop processors today with two models in the series.

The Phenom X3 processors are the first desktop processors to feature a 3-core design and are aimed at bridging the price gap between dual-core and quad-core products. The Phenom X3 is basically a quad-core package with one core turned off.

AMD's Phenom X3 series will launch with two models, the 8400 and 8600 which will feature clock speeds of 2.1 GHz and 2.3 GHz respectively. Each model is said to consume 95W, feature 512KB of L2 cache per core and 2.0MB of L3 cache, the same amount as the Phenom X4 processors. The Phenom X3 series will also feature a maximum HyperTransport speed of 3.6GHz.

The initial launch of these Toliman triple-core processors will be aimed at OEMs and system builders so there is no word on single unit pricing.  However, previous roadmaps indicate Phenom X3 pricing will reach the sub-$100 price point.  HP and Dell began selling triple-core systems last month, though AMD's announcement indicates channel availability is on the way.

The tri-core processors are the last of AMD's "B2" stepping, and are still technically affected by the TLB bug.  However, since Phenom X3 is targeted for low-end systems rather than virtualized server environments, end users do not need to worry about instability.

"B3" revisions of the Phenom X3 processors will likely come later this year, as the rest of the AMD Phenom roadmap transitions to B3 next month.

The next batch of Phenom X3's will include the 8450, 8650, and 8750 at 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz, and the new high point of 2.4GHz respectively running at 95W, and should be expected sometime in Q2 2008.


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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By DeepBlue1975 on 3/28/2008 9:44:13 AM , Rating: 0
I can't guess why I've been downrated on that post.

Does anyone seriously think that a low end buyer wants to shell out around $200 on the cheapest quad core CPU available from either Intel or AMD, when most of the people don't even take advantage of quad cores at all and even many people find that they can perfectly live with single cores? (dual cores are good enough for normal use).

Just look at benchmark scores from the "corrected phenom", in some benchmarks it even can't compete with a slightly higher clocked dual core Intel CPU.

And please, don't come with the cheap trick of accusing me of being an Intel fan boy, because the Q6600 I have now is my first Intel CPU after 13 years of using non Intel processors (name it: cyrix and mostly AMD). My last Intel CPU was an 80486DX which ended up in flames because of pretty bad overclocking practices.
And before that 486 I had an AMD 80386DX 40mhz, and before that a North Harris 80286 and before that a Nec V20 8088 compatible CPU... And before that? CBM 64.

So in my 23 years of being a computer user I had only 2 Intel based machines, and I'd switch to AMD or VIA if they could come up with something faster than Intel's offerings without a doubt.

Please open your eyes, Athlon 64 was faster than any Intel offering during its good days, but since Core 2, Intel is winning performance wise and talking about price the difference is not that big. And certainly it would be a moot point if the 2.5ghz penryn penryn quad core would be sold at its intended price instead of carrying an "scarce part premium".

For me, that am most of the time working with video file conversions (usually four at a time, that's what I got a quad core in the first place), and the rest of the time doing media conversion operations of various type, AMD is simply a no go.

And with my q6600 overclocked to 3.0ghz with no voltage increase at all and perfect stability, for what it did cost me, there's no better bargain with nice out of the box performance and "free" overclocking potential I could ever get.

The best Phenoms available hardly reach 3ghz and if they do so, you need to work hard to get them stable. And even at 3ghz they're no match for a Q6600 overclocked to 3ghz.


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