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Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday finally revealed several AMD Phenom X3 microprocessors with three processing engines for channel and consumers after months of waiting. The new chips are aimed at gamers and multimedia enthusiasts in budget and are priced accordingly. In addition, AMD slashed pricing on certain quad-core AMD Phenom X4 processors to better compete against Intel.

AMD Phenom X3 8000 triple-core microprocessors are based on AMD’s latest micro-architecture and have 1.5MB level-two cache (512KB per core), 2MB of unified level-three cache as well as built-in dual-channel memory controller. A month ago AMD already started to ship AMD Phenom X3 models 8400 (2.10GHz) and 8600 (2.30GHz) to system integrators, whereas today the company unveiled models 8450 (2.10GHz), 8650 (2.30GHz) and 8750 (2.40GHz) that will be sold in the channel market and available for end-users.

The Phenom X3 chips are made by disabling one potentially faulty processing engine of an AMD Phenom X4, which means that the triple-core chips are not a major product for AMD, but a way to sell imperfect quad-core dies. Since triple-core central processing units (CPUs) are created from unsatisfactory quad-core chips, there will be less AMD Phenom X3 processors available on the market than the Phenom X4.

AMD targets its AMD Phenom X3 microprocessors primarily for gamers and enthusiasts in budget seeking for something more than a dual-core chip, but who cannot afford a quad-core processor and also demand a little higher clock-speed to run single- or dual-threaded applications quicker.

However, AMD’s actual positioning seems to be quite strange, if consider the fact that the price difference between triple-core and quad-core processor is not high, whereas performance-wise there are very few cases when AMD’s triple-core chips are substantially faster than AMD’s dual-core chips thanks to additional core or offer considerably higher performance than AMD’s quad-core chips due to slightly higher clock-speed, a review by X-bit labs revealed.


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