Thursday, March 27, 2008

AMD Launches New Phenoms, Adds Triple Core CPUs

amd x3 logo
Thursday AMD announced the launch of two new AMD Phenom X3 processors.

AMD Phenom triple-core processors are the world’s first PC processors to integrate three computational cores on a single die of silicon. That’s an improvement over Intel's quad-core processors that have two dual-core silicon chips inside a multi-chip package that does not include the memory controller.

“In 2007, AMD committed to delivering AMD Phenom triple-core processors in Q1 2008 and today the company makes good on that promise,” said Bob Brewer, corporate vice president, strategic marketing, AMD. “AMD understands that today’s PC applications are best accelerated with a range of multi-core products from quad- to triple- to dual-core processors, and that’s why we now deliver the broadest multi-core desktop lineup in the industry.”

Labeled AMD Phenom X3 8400 (2.1GHz) and 8600 (2.3GHZ), the new processors are intended to be paired with the new AMD 780 series chipset.

"The value proposition is simple. Three cores versus two cores. You make the choice," Pat Moorehead, VP of Advanced Marketing at AMD said, according to CNET "When you've maxed out your two cores...(this is an) extra core to do background tasks," he added.

In addition, the company announced its first 65W quad-core desktop processor, the AMD Phenom X4 9100e.

Overall AMD released seven new CPUs, four of the which are the new 50-series CPUs (also known as the "B3 stepping") that fix the TLB (Translation Lookaside Buffer) erratum that plagued the first batch of Phenom processors out of the gate. The TLB erratum necessitated a fix on the affected system's motherboard BIOS (turning the TLB "off") resulting in some reduced performance.

The new 50-series processors have similar model numbers and have the same speed clock-for-clock: i.e. the Phenom 9500 and 9550 are both 2.2-GHz quad-core processors. The new processors are the Phenom X4 9550 2.2 GHz ($195 per unit in 1,000 unit lots), the Phenom X4 9750 2.4 GHz ($215), and the unlocked Phenom X4 9850 "Black Edition" 2.5 GHz ($235, unlocked and overclockable).

MaximumPC tested the new 2.5GHz Phenom X4 9850 in a side by side comparison with the Intel Core 2 Q9300 and the Core 2 Q6600. As you can see from their results the Q9300 owned both the Q6600 and the Phenom X4 9850. While the Phenom is still fastest AM2 chip available today Intel still has the upper hand in the quad core performance market.

Legit Reviews has a more comprehensive comparison featuring eight different CPUs, the QX9775, QX9770, QX6850, Q6600, E8500, E6750 from Intel and the Phenom 9850 and Phenom 9600 from AMD.

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