AMD's Phenom II CPUs might be getting a little long in the tooth now, but the higher-end parts still provide a lot of power for the enthusiast on a budget. And now they're getting even more affordable.
The quad-core Phenom II X4 955 BE (3.2GHz), 965 BE (3.4GHz) and 970 BE (3.5GHz) have all had $10 knocked off of their thousand-unit prices, bring them to $135, $155 and $175, respectively (£105, £120 and £136 inc VAT). Remember that these are all Black Edition parts as well, meaning that the multiplier is unlocked for easy over-clocking.
But the big cuts have been reserved for the hexacore CPUs. The 2.8GHz X6 1055T has been cut from $199 to $175 (£135), the 3.2GHz X6 1090T has been dropped from $235 to $205 (£160) and the range-topping 3.3GHz X6 1100T has gone from $265 to $239 (£186). The latter two are multiplier unlocked BE chips, and all three get the benefit of Turbo Core automatic overclocking features.
AMD obviously needs to keep MSRPs down in order to stay competitive, but we wouldn't be surprised if this particular price cut was more tactical. With these processors still offering good performance and excellent value for money for the mainstream, the company might be looking to capitalise on Intel's current Sandy Bridge set backs.
Although the older Phenoms can't match the performance of Intel's latest and greatest, the six-core 1055T now retails for less than the cheapest Sandy Bridge processor, making it hard to ignore.
Of course, the price of the Phenom processors is likely to carry on tumbling as the year continues. The Bulldozer-based chips, which will take over as AMD's high-end desktop CPUs, are due out sometime this summer and should drive prices down as these chips are removed from the shelves.