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.

Why Bother with Three Cores?
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  • Locutus465 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    how do you justify this position when comparing the platforms as a whole, particularly taking into consideration budget platforms with integrated graphics. Reply
  • Roy2001 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    For HTPC, 780G paired with a 5600+ is enough. Actually, a E2200 can decode any HD/BD movies, who cares chipset?

    For multicore usage, get a Q6600/Q9450, gamers wang a E8400/E7200. Period.
    Reply
  • Roy2001 - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    For HTPC, 780G paired with a 5600+ is enough. Actually, a E2200 can decode any HD/BD movies, who cares chipset?

    For multicore usage, get a Q6600/Q9450, gamers wang a E8400/E7200. Period.
    Reply
  • Nihility - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Great review!
    The power consumption test seems to indicate the X3 requires less power per core than the X4. A 25% decrease in system power consumption after removing 1 core seems to prove that.
    I was hoping for an overclocking test. Naturally I assume it would be just as bad as the X4 version but due to the lower power requirements I'm curious if AMD managed to improve it.
    Reply
  • Schugy - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    The Phenom X3 is a great CPU just as the X4 but there's a lot of outdated software. It's obvious that the Phenom likes software that is frequently updated with its capabilities in mind. The Phenom has a lot of horsepower for Nero Recode (Imagine 45nm and 3GHz or more), Main Concept-Encoder, LDAP, UT3, AutoMKV but some software makers are extremely good in wasting it. Reply
  • bpl442 - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Nvidia Geforce 7100 / nforce 630i based motherboards like the Gigabyte GA-73PVM-S2.


    "Unfortunately, Intel is in a not-so-great position right now when it comes to its platforms. It can't turn to ATI anymore for integrated graphics solutions, and with a full out war on NVIDIA brewing, it's left alone to provide chipsets for its processors as NVIDIA's latest IGP solutions are not yet available for Intel CPUs."
    Reply
  • nubie - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    I think they are referring to the 8200/8300 series, and the like with full HD decode, also possibly 65nm/55nm so that the power usage is less.

    nVidia isn't ready yet for Intel. (personally I don't care for onboard graphics, mainly because of their lack of TV outputs, and it seems that they are being skipped over entirely and switched to HDMI/DisplayPort if anything, I did once own a 6150 with S-Video/Composite/Component output, but that is the exception to the rule. And still no HD decode.)
    Reply
  • FodderMAN - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    Why does no one test these at faster HT speeds?

    I still stand by the statement I have made time and again that these processors are being castrated by the 200FSB HT speeds. If you run a classic athlon64 at 233, 250, or even 266 ( when attainable ) these processors start to really outshine Intel’s procs. And I can only see phenom being that much stronger. Now I know this is considered an overclock as AMD has zero procs at the higher bus speeds. This would help AMD's revenues as they would be able to add another product code for procs running various FSB / HT speeds even though they would shrink the multiplier range as these cores seem to run into stability problems at about 2.6 - 2.8ghz.

    PLEASE someone do a test at higher bus speeds so we can refer AMD to published numbers. I guess for the time being I will have to wait for a good 6 phase powered board before I buy my phenom and do the testing myself. But I always had great luck with the classic ath64's when upping the FSB / HT speeds and lowering the multipliers. The athlon64 always showed great promise at 250-266 FSB/HT and I can only imaging how well they would run at a 333 FSB / HT speed.

    Time will tell,
    The Goat
    Reply
  • retrospooty - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    "a classic athlon64 at 233, 250, or even 266 ( when attainable ) these processors start to really outshine Intel’s procs."

    There isnt any situation at all, where AMD is outshining Intel CPU these days. If you OC the AMD to 266, you can OC the Intel to 500+ FSB, and AMD isnt outshing anything, not in speed, performance, power, overclockability, or bang for your buck. Intel is winning by all measurements.
    Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    According to the guys at XS, raising the HT reference clock doesn't affect Phenom's performance in any way. It's the effective HT clock that matters, which is currently 1800Mhz using a multi of 9. Reply

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