We finally have it! After well over a year of asking nicely, rudely and creatively - we know when AMD's next generation microarchitecture is being launched.

Well, sort of.

Barcelona, as you maybe remember, is the code name for AMD's next-generation server processors. AMD recently announced that in August, it will unleash Barcelona unto the world at clock speeds of "up to 2.0GHz." But Barcelona only applies to the server world, and today we're reviewing a desktop microprocessor, so when do we get to see AMD's brand new Phenom processors on the desktop?

We'd expect Phenom in our hands 30 days after Barcelona's launch, making it approximately September/October by the time you'd see a preview/review and widespread availability about 30 days from that. If all goes perfectly, AMD's Phenom chips should be in customers' hands by November or December at the latest.

Penryn, Intel's 45nm update to its current Core 2 processors, will also make its debut at the end of this year, potentially spoiling AMD's launch party. A few possibilities exist with Penryn:

1) Penryn could launch across the board at all clock speeds and at competitive prices, quite possibly the worst case scenario for AMD, or
2) Penryn could launch strictly at upper clock speeds/price points, allowing AMD to have an easier time competing at lower speeds, or finally
3) Penryn could launch at lower clock speeds and price points, giving AMD an equally hard time as in the first scenario

It's important to recap AMD's impending launch as we've had yet another round of price cuts, making buying a new CPU today very attractive.

Today is supposed to mark the introduction of the first 1333MHz FSB quad-core Core 2 Extreme processor, the QX6850 (mouthful anyone?), as well as the official launch of the entire 1333MHz FSB lineup. But this is the second Core 2 Extreme launch that coincides with a ridiculous (in a good way) price drop, so we can't help but shift our focus for this story, at least for starters...

 CPU Clock Speed FSB L2 Cache Pricing
Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 3.00GHz 1333 4MBx2 $999
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 3.00GHz 1333 4MB $266
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66GHz 1333 4MB $183
Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33GHz 1333 4MB $163
What's launching today

Once More, With Feeling
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  • Darkmatterx76 - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Nice article. I would like to point out 1 small inconsistancy. On page 12, 4th graph down you have the order for that particular "Lower is better" reversed compared to the others in the article.

    Also, I do have 1 question. Any idea when Intel will offer non-extreme quad cores at 1333 FSB?
    Reply
  • zsdersw - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    I don't get it. Both are listed as 2.33GHz with 1333FSB and both with 4MB. What's the use of having two models? Reply
  • zsdersw - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Nevermind. I found the answer. The 6540 doesn't have Intel Trust Execution technology.. or so I read elsewhere. Reply
  • jay401 - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    So how does the E6850 ($266 3.0GHz 1333fsb) compare to my existing E4400 ($133 running 1333MHz fsb with a 9x multiplier = 3.0GHz)?

    That's the test I'd like to see. Half the price but half the cache: Which is better.
    Reply
  • bobbyto34 - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Your o/c CPU might just be a little hotter :)
    Otherwise, it should have the same performance approximatively (less cache in E4xxx). But other tests showed that the E4300@3Ghz and could approach the performance of the X6800 !
    Reply
  • lplatypus - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Here's a little error I spotted on page 2, in case you want to fix it: the QX6850 is not 7MHz faster than the QX6800; it is 70Mhz faster. Reply
  • Gary Key - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    Fixed. Reply
  • 96redformula - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    I also think the scale would be better from -100 to 100. It makes it easier to distinguish and more visually pleasing. Reply
  • ManuelX - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    I don't post here much but I had to this time. I simply loved the article. The logic behind the comparison was explained nicely, and the comparisons themselves were super easy to grasp. Good stuff. Reply
  • just4U - Monday, July 16, 2007 - link

    I am going to have to agree here. Nicely laid out article with easy comprehensive graph comparison(s). Well done Guys! Reply

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