AMD has added five new processors to its Phenom II desktop line-up, including the first triple-core versions to be produced with a 45nm process. The new chips broaden out its desktop platform to address a broader range of price points, the company said.
Available immediately, AMD's new chips consist of three quad-core and two triple-core processors. The quad-cores are the Phenom II X4 910 and 810, both clocked at 2.6GHz, and the 805, clocked at 2.5GHz. The triple-core parts are the Phenom II X3 720 and 710, clocked at 2.8GHz and 2.6GHz respectively.
Kevin Lensing, product manager for desktop platforms at AMD, explained that the new products build on the momentum of the Dragon desktop platform announced in January, which introduced the first 45nm Phenom II processors.
"These chips fill out the line-up of available Dragon CPUs, and offer a greater breadth of solutions out to more price points," he said.
The two new 800 series chips feature a smaller total cache memory size (6MB versus 8MB) than the 900 series Phenom II chips that debuted as part of Dragon, but come in at a lower price point.
AMD claimed that its chips offer better performance for the price than comparable Intel parts, showing results that give the Phenom II X4 810, which costs $175 (£120), a six to nine per cent performance lead over the Core 2 Quad 8200, which costs $170 (£116), under the SysMark 2007 and PCMark Vantage benchmarks.
Meanwhile, the triple-core Phenoms offer better performance than dual-core Intel chips while shipping at a lower price, according to AMD. The Phenom II X3 720 costs $145 (£99) against the Core 2 Duo E8400 at $165 (£113), but with performance between 13 and 35 per cent higher, the company said.
"In multimedia applications, we find performance scales well with the additional core for tasks such as rendering and transcoding," said Lensing.
The Phenom II X3 720 is also a so-called 'Black Edition' processor that can be overclocked using AMD Overdrive software.
While the new processors are the first to support AMD's AM3 socket infrastructure, they are fully compatible with current AM2+ motherboards, enabling buyers to upgrade at a later date.
"The good news is that, as the price of DDR3 comes down, we are fully enabled to deliver that transition at a pace that suits our customers," Lensing said.
The AM3 platform is widely expected to launch sometime during the first quarter of 2009, but Lensing declined to specify a date, stating only that "we are ready to launch AM3 products at any time".
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