AMD Launches Triple- And Quad-Core Desktop Chips

High-end and low-power quad-cores show AMD can still deliver.

After months of missteps and delays related to its quad-core Barcelona chip for servers, AMD Thursday showed it can still deliver with the announcement of triple-core Phenom processors, high-end quad-core Phenoms and a low power quad-core processor.

The triple-core processor is meant to offer a more affordable option to customers seeking a middle ground of pricing between the dual-core Athlon and quad-core Phenom. AMD (NYSE: AMD) claims that the dual core processors offer a 30 percent improvement in multithreaded applications over the dual core chip.

The triple-core family will carry the X3 8x00 product name, and the first two are the 8400 (2.1Ghz) and 8600 (2.3Ghz). Triple-core based systems are expected from computer makers by the end of the month. AMD expects the triple-core chips to run from $150 and up, while quad core chips are $209 and up.

"We're aiming for that sweet spot of the mid- to high-end mainstream part of the market where there is a great amount of value and a large amount of potential unit sales for market share," said Leslie Sobon, director of desktop product marketing on a teleconference announcing the chips.

For those demanding a little more power, AMD introduced the Phenom X4 9750 and 9850 Black Edition, running at 2.4GHz and 2.5GHz, respectively. The X4 9850 Black Edition means the clock is unlocked, so over-clockers, who like tweaking their system, can fiddle with it to get more speed.

The X4 line launched earlier this year with the 2.2Ghz 9550 and 2.3GHz 9650. These faster chips were supposed to ship sooner but AMD moved them a few steps back of the line to get the triple-core chips out.

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