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AMD today launches three new Phenom tri-cores as well as two new Athlon chips and a low-power Phenom quad-core

AMD today launched three new Phenom X3 "50" Series triple-core processors. In addition, AMD also announced a low-power quad-core Phenom X4 processor. The new chips released by AMD are launched just days after Intel's flurry of price cuts that took place earlier this week. The price cuts considerably upped the pressure on AMD and have forced AMD to rethink its strategy, especially because the company has mainly been attempting to stay competitive with Intel offerings through price.

All three of the new chips sport AMD's X3 moniker, which signifies that they are triple-core chips. The AMD Phenom X3 8750, the fastest of the new tri-core chips, runs at 2.4  GHz and is priced at $195. The Phenom X3 8650 runs at 2.3 GHz and is priced at $165. Bottom on the list is the Phenom X3 8450, which runs at 2.1 GHz and is priced at $145.  

These new Phenom X3 processors are based on AMD's B3 stepping. The Phenom X3 processors that were delivered to OEM partners earlier were based on AMD's B2 revision,which sufferred from a nasty bug in the Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB) in the L3 cache.  

AMD is attempting to make its new Phenom chips more attractive by combining them with the company's 780 series chipset. According to the company, the duo will offer consumers "a full HD experience."

AMD says the new processors will give consumers a more balanced option compared to NVIDIA and Intel. "On one side, we have Nvidia saying that the only thing that matters is graphics. On the other side, Intel is saying that the only thing that matters is the processor. AMD offers a balanced platform that doesn't overemphasize one really expensive component over another really expensive component," said Brent Berry, AMD product marketing manager.

AMD's low-power quad-core Phenom X4 was also launched today. Dubbed the Phenom X4 9100e, the new chip has a total Thermal Design Power of 65 watts. Comparatively, AMD's standard Phenom X4 chips have a 95 watt thermal envelope.   

In addition to the three new tri-core chips and low-power quad-core processor, AMD also updated its low-end offerings with two new 45-watt processors; the Athlon X2 4450e and X2 4050e. As the name indicates, the new chips are based on AMD's Athlon architecture. Both chips are dual-core and respectively run at 2.3 GHz and 2.1 GHz.

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RE: AMD is right
By Master Kenobi on 4/24/2008 7:47:55 AM , Rating: 3
The reviews on the Tri-Core processors indicate they offer nothing over their dual and quad core counterparts.

RE: AMD is right
By Locutus465 on 4/24/2008 10:06:39 AM , Rating: 4
I don't agree here, I just read over the anandtech review and it showed many situations were a tri core fell exactly where it should in terms of performance, between quad and dual.

To be perfectly honest if AMD can work something out on the priceing situation they'd really have something.

RE: AMD is right
By darkpaw on 4/24/2008 10:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
That's the big issue there. $197 for a 3 core 2.4ghz? No thanks.

I used to buy AMD because they were very price competitive for the performance level. I probably still woulda bought AMD on my most recent build but they had absolutely nothing in a price competitive range:

Paid $160 after rebate for an 8800GT. Cheapest 3870 was more expensive for less performance.

Paid $199 for a retail Q6600.. nothing AMD had could touch that price for the performance.

Motherboard is the only thing I could have saved money on going with AMD, but the lack of competitive CPU killed that.

RE: AMD is right
By Locutus465 on 4/24/2008 11:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, well I did go all AMD this time around and I actually couldn't be happier with the results. My new system is Phenom 9850be + Asus M3A23-MVP Delux/WiFi + Radeon HD 3870 + 4GB DDR2 800. Even at stock speeds the system rocks anything I can throw at it, my only complaint is that my Golden Orb II isn't compatible with this MB so I was forced to go with the AMD HSF until I can get a replacement in.

RE: AMD is right
By herrdoktor330 on 4/24/2008 9:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
I actually thinking about picking up a tri core... but I'm certainly not doing it this month. Sure... they may be $197 for the fastest X3 now, but in about 3 months I bet that the price will drop to about $159 or less to start clearing that old stock, with further price cuts on the lower clocked models. Early adopters are going to pay the early adopter price. But to pay something like $150 for something I can get workable performance out of and maybe goose another 200mhz from overclocking, then that's not too bad. The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is the estimated shelf life of AM2+. If they're just going to roll out AM3 in 2 quarters, I'd rather sit around, save my money, and wait for the results from that. That's the main reason I won't commit to buying a 775 socket mobo; knowing full well that's going to go away when the new Intel chips hit later this year.

And I will agree with you, the 8800GT edges out the 3870 overall. But I actually went with purchasing a 3870 because of the Hybrid Crossfire. Because if I do wait and buy a cheap Q6600, I'm not going to bother with a nForce chipset. I'm going to buy a better performing Intel chipset to go with it. But if you want to do multiple GPUs on that kind of platform, the only sensible choice is the AMD/ATI route. Also, if I want to utilize my 3870 with a 3870X2 later (which does scale very well as a combo) I have that option. Or (and I'm hoping that AMD does this) will allow the 3870 to work along with the next generation of GPUs they offer, so that I can still get a longer usage from that card. From what I understand about Hybrid Crossfire, it's bottleneck is the slowest memory bandwidth. If they don't really change those RAM specs (doubt it... but hey), then I should be able to milk this setup for all it's worth.

I don't want to sound like an AMD/ATI fanboy or anything, because I'm not. But I do like those features and see a value there. Especially when prices drop. But... the prices have to drop for me to bite.

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