AMD Names Athlon's Successor: Phenom

by Anand Lal Shimpi on 5/14/2007 2:38 AM EST


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  • kleinwl - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    I call B.S.

    Where are the new processors for 939? When I go to Newegg, they only have a few models available. This is more like support of 939 through 2006... and oh maybe you can find some more on Ebay through 2007.
  • TA152H - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    The number of people that actually upgrade their processors without upgrading their motherboard is phenonemally small (on pun intended) and the fact that AMD goes out of their way to keep these folks happy at all is shocking to me.

    I much prefer Intel's approach, since I don't at all understand the point of upgrading to a new processor without a new motherboard, since they are so cheap. The impact on the end user is statistically insignificant, although if I were a motherboard maker I'd be pretty annoyed with Intel. But, luckily for Intel, they can afford to annoy motherboard makers since they are arguably the best at making them (maybe Supermicro is as good or better) and they don't need them.

    That AMD is offering support for obsolete motherboards like AM2 that will run their processors slightly degraded shows a big commitment on their part to this small segment, or more likely to their motherboard making partners. It's a tiny, tiny market, so just be grateful they even make an effort.
  • GlassHouse69 - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    you dont understand why you would because you either: A, buy a higher end cpu, B, wait a while/too long, C, are unimaginative and lemming like. I could put a 185 opteron in my 939 and get only slightly less performance over a C2D 6600.

    unless you spent 350+ dollars on your non oem xp pro instal disk, you will see the obvious benefit of going with a new processor vs new board.

    people dont consider anything besides their own situation in their posts.

  • TA152H - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Actually, I buy a new motherboard because ...

    A) I can afford it.
    B) CPUs outlast motherboards by a lot.
    C) The new features of new motherboards normally warrant the small incremental cost.
    D) I don't throw away the old machine if the motherboard still works, I just add another one. I'd rather give away my old machine than mutilate because I was too cheap to upgrade the motherboard. Most of the high end stuff you buy a few years ago isn't worth much.

    And, talk about someone that doesn't see anything but their situation, the market for this is extremely small. You are the one that doesn't see the bigger picture. The market doesn't ask for this, just be grateful AMD makes some effort to placate the small number of people that do rather than be angry that they don't offer a huge selection for obsolete equipment.
  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - link

    IMO, the CPU typically is outdated long before the motherboard. Whether it will physically last longer is irrelevant, unless you need a bunch of computers for reading e-mail. And how is adding a different processor mutilating a computer? I installed the first one, another would be no different.

    I typically wait long enough between upgrades (2.5-3 years) that buying a new motherboard also makes sense for me. I believe the complaint was not as much with whether or not AMD supports 939, but that they state they support it through 2007, when in fact it seems they are simply selling off the leftovers. Selling off leftovers is fine, just don't call it support.
  • NiteCloak - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Its probably short for 'Phenom'inally. As in "It runs phenominally hot!" Like all their processors.
  • GlassHouse69 - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    um. yeah. for 6 years amd's processors had more power and half the wattage of intels. now the wattage favors intel by about a 15% lead, thats if you put 90nm am2 against 65nm c2d. put a 3600 brisbane against a low level c2d, brisbane wins price/perfomance. such comments are irritating.

  • Gul Westfale - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    as a long time AMD customer (been rolling my own for 7 years now) i think tha there are both positives and negatives here:

    - new stuff, even if it is just a rewarmed K8 core with some extra dressing, is good. AMD needs better performance and hopefully this will help put them back on top, otherwise i might have to jump ship and join the evil empire :)

    - they retain semprons and athlon X2s which shows that they will have a product in every price segment of the market. this can only help.

    - compatibility with AM2 boards is a blessing for a lot of us. thank you AMD.

    - if the y retain athlon X2 to be sold alongside similarly clocked phenom chips they must believe that the phenoms significantly outperforms the athlon X2. otherwise they would have to cut the AX2s price yet again... either way it's good for customers.


    - using two sockets yet again. it would have been simpler to use AM2+ for consumer chips and 1207 for pro chips (opterons), but noooooo.... hector has to make it complicated again.... why? seriously? i don't get it. those who have the cash and really want an 8-core could buy an opteron system, no?

    - still no performance numbers revealed...

    i think that's about it. i will bitch more when benchmarks have been released :)
  • hirschma - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    The question that everyone wants to know: when will an AMD quad proc, of any kind, be available for sale? Reply
  • TA152H - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Not everyone, I couldn't care less.

    Uses more power, requires more cooling and is more expensive than a dual-core, and I don't need it and can't use it. Why would I want it? Two processors is more than enough for the vast majority of people, maybe too much. Some people clearly will want quads, but far more will have absolutely no use for it.
  • chucky2 - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    The last graphic on page 1 seems to indicate it, but I just wanted to see if you guys could confirm it either way:

    Will Socket-AM2 CPU's work in Socket-AM2+ motherboards?

    You've definitely said AM2+ CPU's will at least work in AM2 motherboards, just wondering if maybe you could confirm the AM2 CPU's will be fully supported by the AM2+ motherboards.

    Thanks either way!

  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Yes, Socket-AM2 CPUs should work in Socket-AM2+ motherboards. I haven't personally tested it yet, but that's what AMD's image at the bottom of page 1 is designed to indicate.

    Take care,
  • chucky2 - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Outstanding, Thanks Anand!!!

    Very nice of AMD to leave us with an upgrade path...unlike Intel...

  • strikeback03 - Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - link

    AMD just replaced socket 939 with AM2 last year, breaking that upgrade path. Socket 775 has been around for a while, but will disappear relatively soon. Neither company is going to keep the same socket indefinitely. Reply
  • TA152H - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    What's in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title:--Romeo, doff thy name;
    And for that name, which is no part of thee,
    Take all myself.

    OK, that's a bit melodramatic, but it makes you wonder why both Intel and AMD would doff their well known names. Intel probably because Pentium 4 was quickly becoming "Pentium for?", but look what they replaced it with. Core??? Whatever ass thought of that name should be sterilized. Just a terrible name. Maybe the same person that thought of Celeron? It sounds way too much like a non-nutritive vegetable. Maybe AMD should have just gone with Watermelon, it kills two birds with one stone; it ends in "on" and is a vegetable. Both are apparently of some worth in names, although I have no idea why. Itanium is a cool name though, Intel deserves kudos there.

    Athlon sounded like some sort of fungal growth. I can see two people talking, one tells his friend -- I got an Athlon and his friend replies not to worry, they have good medications for that nowadays. Horrible name. So was Duron, sounded low class and prosaic. Sempron is pretentious and preppy. Opteron is cool though, sounds modern and futuristic. Phenom is pretty good too, obviously it's intended to sound exciting albeit not particularly professional. I'd be real surprised if they ditch Opteron, which sounds much better for that market.

    I'm still surprised AMD dropped Athlon though, it's still a respected name. I mean, anyone who knows anything knows Core 2 is better, but it's not like it's a totally worthless product line Pentium 4 where you not only know it's not as good, but you have an emotional revulsion to the product. It's really kind of strange to me, even though Phenom is a better name. Maybe they feel "AMD" is well known enough that they don't need to be married to Athlon anymore.
  • Crassus - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Honestly, whenever I hear Opteron I still think of a new laundry detergent, not a processor. Reply
  • Kougar - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Just another post to say article images are still not showing up with Opera 9.20. Doesn't matter even if I do a clean reinstall of Opera, I can only view the article images in IE7. Reply
  • ShizNet - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    F12 -> check 'Enable Referrer Logging'
    restart Opera
  • Kougar - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Miracle worker! ;) Thanks a bunch, that seems to have been my problem. Graci Sooo much nicer to be using just Opera again for all my browsing... Reply
  • Final Hamlet - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Conclusion: Get foxy :) Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Sounds like a possible configuration issue with Opera. Our images have always come from and the text is from; if you have some setting that blocks images that are not from the same page (like most ads), you won't see our images. Since the images in this article are JPG files, that's my only guess. Reply
  • JackPack - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Last year in July, AMD's Henri Richard belittled Intel, saying that "the competition decided to throw away one of their brands and completely reposition Pentium" and that Intel "destroyed" one of their strongest brands.

    Fast forward to May 2007, and what do we have?
  • Griswold - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Athlon still exists and will continue to exist but it moved down the ladder. Much like pentium did not fly out the window completely.

    But who really cares about names? Launch is what matters.
  • Toebot - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    Sometimes I wonder if AMD doe's this kind of thing on purpose. Reply
  • JackPack - Monday, May 14, 2007 - link

    It's not that bad.

    "Yo mom, buy me the Phenom, 'cause it's da bomb."

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