AMD Phenom Triple-Core Processor

AMD’s triple-core processors have been on the horizon for months now and, after all the speculation and derision, they are finally here. The launch included three Phenom X3 processors: the 8750, 8650, and 8450, all of which will come in at under $200. AMD is, as expected, positioning these processors between their dual-core and quad-core offerings and is targeting cost-conscious consumers, people who will appreciate the performance boost but would rather save a few dollars than go with a quad-core.The three 65nm models will arrive at 2.1, 2.3, and 2.4GHz frequencies, respectively priced at $145, $165, and a hefty $195 for the 8750. These models have a TDP of 95W and 1.5MB total L2 cache per processors as well as 2MB shared cache. Also included is HT 3.0, a 1.8GHz memory controller, and Dual Dynamic Power Management. And because this is a 50 series processor we know it is a B3 revision model. They are AM2+ (940 pin) compatible so consumers won’t necessarily need new hardware to run an X3.Having the basic information in front of you, it’s not immediately clear whether AMD is fulfilling a need that no one has, offering an interesting new option to consumers, or just making the best out of their situation (by releasing “broken” quad-cores as X3s). What we do know though is that outside of enthusiasts circles there won’t be the clamoring and complaints about the third core, rather it’ll probably be seen as nothing more (or less) than something between two other options.AMD is also touting a platform approach–not exactly admitting that they can’t compete with Intel on a processor-by-processor basis, but rather than their entire package is better than the competition’s. Specifically, this platform is “Cartwheel”, AMD’s current take on a main-stream computer with integrated graphics. By using the 780G chipset AMD could actually produce a better system (dollar-for-dollar) than Intel, so long as you subscribe to their platform approach, something that may actually make sense considering that most sub-$200 processors are found in pre-built computers.


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