AMD's Phenom X3 8000 Series: Fighting Two Cores with Three?by Anand Lal Shimpi on April 23, 2008 9:00 AM EST
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AMD has been pretty active on the CPU front lately, last month we saw the Phenom re-launch with the B3-stepping 50-series quad-core processors and today AMD is unveiling its 50-series triple-core parts.
We've got the lineup below:
|Cores||Stepping||Clock Speed||TDP||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||1 Ku Price|
|AMD Phenom X4 9850||4||B3||2.5GHz||125W||2MB||2MB||$235|
|AMD Phenom X4 9750||4||B3||2.4GHz||125W||2MB||2MB||$215|
|AMD Phenom X4 9550||4||B3||2.2GHz||95W||2MB||2MB||$209|
|AMD Phenom X3 8750||3||B3||2.4GHz||95W||1.5MB||2MB||$195|
|AMD Phenom X3 8650||3||B3||2.3GHz||95W||1.5MB||2MB||$165|
|AMD Phenom X3 8450||3||B3||2.1GHz||95W||1.5MB||2MB||$145|
Note that all three of the triple-core parts are 50-series CPUs, meaning they are based on the B3 stepping and do not suffer from the TLB erratum that plagued the early Phenom processors. AMD continues to ship B2 stepping CPUs, but most of them are to OEMs that aren't as concerned with the performance hit associated with the software TLB fix.
Pricing is also pretty interesting, as the top end Phenom X3 8750 is only $20 cheaper than the quad-core Phenom X4 9750 despite running at the same clock speed. The X3 8650 and 8450 are far more interesting as both of them are priced closer to $150.
There's now some overlap between AMD's triple-core Phenom and dual-core Athlon X2 offerings in terms of price, have a look:
|Cores||Clock Speed||TDP||L2 Cache||L3 Cache||1 Ku Price|
|AMD Phenom X3 8750||3||2.4GHz||95W||1.5MB||2MB||$195|
|AMD Phenom X3 8650||3||2.3GHz||95W||1.5MB||2MB||$165|
|AMD Phenom X3 8450||3||2.1GHz||95W||1.5MB||2MB||$145|
|AMD Athlon X2 6400+||2||3.2GHz||125W||2MB||0MB||$178|
|AMD Athlon X2 6000+||2||3.0GHz||125W||2MB||0MB||$167|
|AMD Athlon X2 5600+||2||2.8GHz||89W||2MB||0MB||$146|
The Athlon X2s still hold a tremendous clock speed advantage, but Phenom can do more work per clock. It will be interesting to see if three Phenom cores at 2.1GHz are a better buy than two Athlon X2 cores at 2.8GHz.