AMD has launched a broadside at Intel with its new Phenom II processors. Priced competitively to undercut Intel's Core 2 line, all the new chips fit into existing AM2+ or AM3 sockets and support DDR2 and DDR3 memory.
Phenom II continues AMD's penchant for producing triple-core processors. While the purpose is to provide further differentiation between the processor ranges, the market effectiveness of the triple-core line is open to debate – customers are surely now looking for quad core chips inside new systems.
In its press bumph, AMD says that its triple-core can compete on price with dual core systems - and, as you'd expect, it's better on performance for that cost. Produced under the 45nm process (previously 65nm), the five new chips include two X3 variants running at 2.6 and 2.8GHz.
Better performance for the price
According to AMD, the Black Edition X3 720 2.8GHz gives a 20 per cent Cinebench 3D rendering performance improvement over a Core 2 Duo E8400 and is $20 cheaper.
The four-core X4 is clocked at either 2.5 (805) or 2.6GHz. (810 and 910) The X4 810 is $5 more than the Core 2 Quad but AMD claims a better 3DMark Vantage score (6,851 versus 6,483). AMD is also claiming better everyday benchmark results – 22 per cent faster in an iTunes encode, nine per cent faster in Photoshop Elements filtering and 10 per cent faster in Windows Movie Maker rendering.
AMD wants to make great weight out of the overclocking headroom of the new chips after its recent Las Vegas 6.3Ghz overclocking demo of the Phenom II.