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Intel price cuts strike fear into AMD's Phenom series

by Parm Mann on 22 April 2008, 09:54

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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The worst that could happen to Phenom, has happened

When we recently reviewed AMD's Phenom X4 9850 processor, we came to the conclusion that "AMD needs to drop its Phenom X4 9850 BE processor to, say, below the £130 mark in order to provide a reasonable alternative to Intel's Core 2 Quad Q6600".

Unfortunately for AMD, it'll now need to go that extra bit lower as Intel has moved to strike the first blow. The semiconductor giant has slashed the price of its 2.40GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600 by 16 percent, taking it down from $266 to $224. In addition, its 2.66GHz Core 2 Quad Q6700 has been slashed by a substantial 50 per cent, taking it from $530 to just $266.

Make no mistake, this is not a case of Intel being generous to the consumer. This is a case of Intel taking action to largely eradicate any threat from AMD's current quad-core, and forthcoming tri-core, Phenom processors.

Prior to this round of Intel price cuts, our Phenom X4 9850 BE review stated that "HEXUS still believes Intel's Q6600 to be a better purchase". With a 16 per cent price cut, the Q6600 is now undoubtedly the processor of preference for a budget quad-core system. Indeed, the only choice remaining is which Intel quad-core processor to choose, the Q6600 or Q6700?

What can AMD do to fight back? Well, probably not a lot. AMD's tri-core Phenom X3 processors, which the company had hoped would fill the void between dual-core and quad-core, is yet to be released. Unfortunately, with Intel's quad-core processors continuing to drop in price, that void is all but gone.

AMD's 2.4GHz tri-core Phenom X3 8750 processor is expected to launch at $189, just $35 less than Intel's 2.4GHz C2Q Q6600. With such aggressive pricing, has Intel effectively ruined the Phenom X3 launch? Maybe so, we'll have the definitive answer in our forthcoming Phenom X3 8750 review.

HEXUS Forums :: 14 Comments

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AMD can't catch a break at the moment.

The last five pcs I have built have been around AMD chips, based on their performance/price benefits, when I (eventually) do my new build this year it will be an Intel cpu that I use.

AMD did a good job of making Intel go back to the drawing board to create a fantastic family of processors, but it's time that AMD does the same, atm they're just about treading water, unless they come up with some serious improvements soon they may just sink. And no competition would be bad for us all.
You have to wonder if Intel are trying to kill off or seriously damage AMD at the moment, to the point where they're maybe even making a loss on some consumer lines. They're being really aggressive at the moment. No signs of the complacency they suffered badly from post Pentium 3.

I'm starting to wonder what the odds are of a takeover/buying of the AMD graphics division if their Larrabee project fails to get off the ground. Highly unlikely I know, but it's not beyond the realms of possibility going through my head.

AMD are doing a lot better than I expected, just through innovations more than anything else. The HD3870X2 is a truly excellent use of existing technologies, and their 780G chipset is exceptional.
We should all go out and buy an AMD system unless we want to be paying Intel whatever they ask for their kit in a future with no competition :help:
As much as I agree I just don't think I could bring myself to do that (buy an AMD system). After all these years of relying on Intel solutions (in both chipset and CPU) and having experienced first hand a multitude of problems with AMD stuff (AMD/Via combos and their former ATi cards many moons ago) I can't see myself going back. Intel is almost an ingrained habit.

It's definately a cause for concern, competition leads to fairer pricing and better products. If AMD were to disappear from the market that incentive to strive forwards (at least in price) is gone :(
Competition is always good.

But for me i have always used intel, and i have never had a single problem with them.

After i've had friends complaining about AMD board and processor issues i'll never go with AMD even if they do eventually outperform intel.

Same reason i'll always use corsair ram too.