I believe no one will deny the fact that AMD is hopelessly behind Intel in microarchitecture development. K10 (Stars) microarchitecture that the company has been exploiting for the past several years doesn’t allow AMD to successfully compete against Intel in the upper market segment for a long time already. Therefore, the only way for AMD is to succeed in the lower market segment. Luckily, the development and production of Phenom II and Athlon II processors with 45 nm cores allowed AMD to lower the production costs of their solutions in time and make it possible for extremely affordable processors with more than two cores to appear in the market.
Not so long ago we reviewed a few of the first AMD solutions like that – Athlon II X4 quad-core processor family, with the junior models selling for no more than $100. These CPUs made a pretty good impression, especially in terms of price-to-performance. Today AMD went even further and announced even cheaper multi-core CPUs. Triple-core newcomers from Athlon II X3 series will be available for $70-$90.
Frankly speaking, Athlon II X3 are in a way unique processors because neither AMD nor Intel have any other solutions like that. Only these CPUs have more than two cores but at the same time are extremely affordable. These particular features will make Athlon II X3 a pretty demanded solution. Multi-threaded applications become more and more popular. Today even games may benefit from an extra processor core in your system, not to mention numerous programs for work with media content that are becoming wider spread among home users. In response to this tendency AMD decided to offer a suitable hardware platform at a democratic price.
So, Athlon II X3 processors look like a very good and, most importantly, timely solution, which we have every right to recommend to those users who work with resource-hungry software applications and value the advantages of multi-core architectures. Of course, new triple-core processors have a few drawbacks. They have relatively high power consumption and in some applications run even slower than the dual-core Intel CPUs with the same price point. But keeping in mind the uniqueness of Athlon II X3 CPUs, we can overlook these issues, especially since the new triple-core processors do boast a few hidden advantages, too. For example, they overclock very well and in some cases even allow unlocking the fourth core. In other words, Athlon II X3 is a great CPU for economical enthusiasts.