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Advanced Micro Devices plans to release its first AMD Athlon II X3 microprocessors with three cores on the day of Microsoft Windows 7 operating system launch, on October 22, 2009, sources with knowledge of the matter revealed. The new chips will be based on the code-named Rana core and will be aimed at entry-level personal computers and those customers, who want to have something more than a dual-core chip.

The first triple-core Athlon II X3 processors will be models 425 and 435, which will function at 2.70GHz and 2.80GHz, respectively. The central processing units will feature 1.5MB of cache (512KB per core), will have thermal design power of 95W and will be compatible with AM2+ and AM3+ infrastructure. AMD will also energy-efficient triple-core microprocessors – models 400e and 405e – with thermal design power of 45W.

Considering the fact that Athlon II X3 chips do not work on high frequencies, they will hardly be able to offer truly high performance in contemporary demanding software. AMD is likely to position the chip for entry-level systems that are occasionally used for video games of multimedia. Since Windows 7 and DirectX 11 application programming interface will take more advantage of multi-core chips, triple-core Athlon II X3 processors from AMD may offer something more than entry-level dual-core offerings.

In addition to triple-core chips, AMD will also broaden the lineup of its low-power (45W) desktop offerings with Athlon II X2 235e and 240e as well as Athlon II X4 600e and 605e central processing units.

AMD did not comment on the news-story.

Tags: AMD, Athlon, Rana, 45nm

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