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AMD adds triple-core Phenoms to its CPU line-up

by Parm Mann on 27 March 2008, 09:57


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Three is better than two and AMD hopes to fill the gap

In addition to to reinvigorating its Phenom quad-core CPU range, AMD today announced the availability of its triple-core processors, the Phenom X3 8000 series.

With the world's first triple-core x86 CPU, AMD hopes to bridge the gap between dual-core and quad-core processors. Though both Intel and AMD might say otherwise, quad-core CPUs aren't yet selling like hot cakes and AMD hopes that its X3 triple-core range will prove to be a logical step forward for consumers who seek improved performance at mainstream prices.

Bob Brewer, AMD's corporate vice president, said:

"In 2007, AMD committed to delivering AMD Phenom triple-core processors in Q1 2008 and today the company makes good on that promise. 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."

Initially, AMD's X3 range will consist of a 2.1GHz 8400 and a 2.3GHz 8600, priced at $160 and $180 respectively (when sold in quantities of 1,000). They'll feature 1.5MB of L2 cache and 2MB of shared L3 cache. Further down the line, a 2.1GHz 8450, 2.3GHz 8650 and 2.4GHz 8750 will refresh the line-up.

As you'd expect, AMD states that the X3 processors are best-paired with AMD's 780 chipset, promising the delivery of "significant enhancements in gaming and high-definition experiences for mainstream PC customers".

It should be noted, however, that AMD's current X3 offerings, the 8400 and 8600, aren't B3-based and could, although unlikely, fall foul of erratum 298. The B3-based range, denoted by the -50 suffix, will be deployed around May.

In addition, AMD also unveiled today what it claims to be "the world’s first energy-efficient desktop quad-core processor, providing customers with a cool and quiet digital media workhorse". That then would be the AMD Phenom X4 9100e quad-core processor, which offers all that four-core goodness whilst operating at a maximum of 65watts. It should be available in Q2 2008, we hear.

Greg White, AMD's corporate vice president and general manager, desktop and embedded division said:

"By infusing energy–conscious design into everything related to AMD — facilities, products and alliances — AMD has emerged as a leader in establishing eco-friendly practises. The AMD Phenom X4 9100e processor is our latest endeavour to help customers reduce energy consumption and environmental impact."

In truth, and without denial from AMD, the semiconductor manufacturer is continuing to play catch-up with Intel and would have liked to have seen these new additions hit the market toward the end of 2007. Still, a week before Intel's IDF conference begins in Shanghai, it gives Intel something to think about. Will Intel now slash the price of its low-end quad-core CPUs to ruin any hopes for AMD's X3? Only time will tell.

Related reading:
AMD to reinvigorate Phenom quad-core CPUs with new range

Official press releases:
AMD Launches World’s First x86 Triple-Core Processors
High Performance AMD Phenom™ X4 Processors Lead the Charge to HD Desktop Gaming and Video
AMD Extends Energy-Efficient Processing Leadership with World’s First 65-Watt Quad-Core Desktop Processor

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