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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  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    The problem is without support in 100% of the titles it's not something you can really count on. If you go with too slow of a CPU, hoping to rely on GPU acceleration but then try and play a rip that isn't accelerated you're just out of luck.

    Regardless, I'm just waiting for the day when all platforms feature GPU acceleration :)

    Take care,
    Anand
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    "Now if you pirate your HD movies then none of this matters, as GPU accelerated H.264 decode doesn't work on much pirated content."

    Sure it does, the Cyberlink H.264/MPEG-2 decoder is a complete DirectShow-compliant module. Anything H.264 that can be played in a DirectShow application is accelerated by it, both legit and pirated content.
    Reply
  • 0roo0roo - Thursday, April 24, 2008 - link

    it doesn't matter either way. pirated h264 content tends to be lower bitrate versions of the full hd rip.
    even at full bitrate it doesn't matter as processors have come to a point where even budget dual cores can decode h264 quite well.
    Reply
  • ChronoReverse - Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - link

    And on the free software side, Media Player Classic Home Cinema (what a mouthful) also has GPU accelerated decode now too (only for the newer video cards though).

    While not all pirate content are encoded in a manner that can be accelerated, the functionality is available now.
    Reply

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