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AMD Releases Triple Threat and Price Cuts

By - Source: Tom's Hardware | B 41 comments

AMD has released three new triple-core processors Monday along with further price cuts to its processor range.

Although not able to compete with Intel in the high-end market, AMD has shown it still has some bite left by slashing prices once again in their processor line up and by releasing three new triple-core Phenom processors. The newly announced AMD Phenom X3 8450e and Phenom X3 8250e are both energy efficient processors with a TDP of just 65 W each, which translates into reduced heat and a savings on the power bill.

In comparison, AMD’s standard Phenom triple-core processors have a 95 W TDP and Intel’s desktop dual-core processors have a TDP of 65 W. Both new processors have a triple L2 cache of 512 KB and a 2 MB L3 cache, with the Phenom X3 8450e featuring a 2.1 GHz clock-speed and the Phenom X3 8250e a 1.9 GHz clock speed. Prices are not yet available.

The third newly announced processor is the AMD Phenom X3 8750 Black Edition, proving once again that where there is an unlocked multiplier to be had, there is an extra dollar to be made. The processor features a 2.4 GHz clock-speed, a 95 W TDP, a triple L2 cache of 512 KB, a 2 MB L3 cache and an unlocked multiplier for those wanting to put their cooling system to the test. Priced at $134 in bulk, the processor offers a good deal for the enthusiast on a budget.

Last but not least, AMD is slashing prices again for the second time in the last two weeks with price reductions set for the AMD X3 8450, dropping the price to $104 in bulk, and the AMD X3 8650, with a price drop to $119 in bulk. Last week Intel introduced its new Intel Pentium dual-core E5200 processor, offering a 2.5 GHz clock-speed, an 800 MHz FSB and a 2 MB L2 cache, priced competitively at $84 in bulk. AMD is rumored to be releasing its new Phenom processors based on the upcoming Deneb core in January 2009, which just does not seem to be soon enough.

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  • 2 Hide
    timaahhh , September 9, 2008 10:45 PM
    Does anyone really buy these X3 chips? Most AMD people seem to get Athlon BE or quads it seems. Not intended to be flamebait btw just wondering I don't really hear much about these.
  • 0 Hide
    one-shot , September 9, 2008 11:04 PM
    I agree, I never hear much about the X3 cpu's. They could be decent, but who knows. What does sadden me tho is Deneb was supposed to be H2 2008 but now it looks like 2009. Competition is a good thing.
  • 0 Hide
    danbfree , September 9, 2008 11:06 PM
    Well, a Black edition Triple Core may be fun to play with at a good price point. I know I personally wasn't interested at all until I heard about this Black Edition. There is talk that because one core is disabled on these triple cores. that overclocking can be much better... hmmm.
  • Display all 41 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 9, 2008 11:14 PM
    That might be good for a budget gaming system. Really though AMD needs to come out with some faster X4s sooner as they aren't on the Roadmap till December.
  • 3 Hide
    caamsa , September 9, 2008 11:54 PM
    I have seen some reviews that show the X3 8750 OC to 3Ghz. It would probably be a good chip for anyone on a tight budget. Plus remember a lot of people do not OC and are not worried about gaming. The cheapest X3 is only 100 bucks. The BE edition is 115 bucks. I would not mind picking one up to play around with but my wife would probably shoot me.
  • 3 Hide
    Yuka , September 10, 2008 12:40 AM
    Like it was noted previously, the Athlon64 X2 is still in the roadmap, making a big shade to the Phenom X3s. If AMD stops making Athlon64 X2's, then these Phenoms might see the light, otherwise, i'd say they'll be still in the shade. I don't know if 1 extra core is worth the difference. The good thing is that triple core BE. Sounds like fun indeed. Maybe that's the direct replacement for the Athlon64 5000 and 6000 BE's.

    Esop!
  • 3 Hide
    asdasd123123 , September 10, 2008 12:48 AM
    Draws the same wattage, almost same price and same speed as an x2, why not if you're building new, and really can't do with the extra price of a proper quad? Looks good to me.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 10, 2008 12:50 AM
    Hopefully it will drive overall prices down even more.
  • 0 Hide
    jj463rd , September 10, 2008 1:24 AM
    AMD's quad cores have dropped down in price a lot.Over at newegg.com I've seen the Phenom X4 9550 for under $140.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 10, 2008 2:33 AM
    Why would a company that has had net losses 7 quarters in a row, a lot of debt and a need for cash to finance future production capacity continue to slash prices? This makes no sense unless they are having trouble moving product. If they are not having issues moving product, why cut prices so much when you are operating at a net loss for so long?

    And cutting tri-cores just puts more pressure on AMD then Intel! It picks off potential 'low end' AMD quad sales and puts pricing pressure on dual cores which is still the high volume product. Remember from a cost perspective a tri-core is a quad core piece of Silicon and is the equivalent of a bit more than 2 Athlon X2's from a silicon and production cost perspective. I would rather make 2 Athlon's then 1 tri-core; we are now 18 months into the 65nm ramp so I would assume AMD has figured out 65nm yield by now?
  • 3 Hide
    asdasd123123 , September 10, 2008 2:50 AM
    Pricedroppinmadness:
    A triple core is a defective quad, the silicon would have been spent anyway, they make money on what would otherwise be lost on trashed/recycled cpus.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 10, 2008 2:54 AM
    x3's are just X4's with a bum core. So it's selling them as tri core vs throwing away the silicon.
  • -9 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , September 10, 2008 3:04 AM
    Triple Cripple is loose! Run for the hills!
  • 3 Hide
    Reynod , September 10, 2008 3:30 AM
    Kuka's point is a good one.

    AMD needs to bin the X2 gigher end parts like the 6400+ etc.

    Then more will show interest in the Phenom.

    Sounds good ... but when you need sales of "anything" then this falls down as an aarguement.

    Plus the 90nm parts (the high end X2's and old Opti's) are cheaper to make thant the Phenoms.

    The 65nm X2's also offer a wider powere envelope - albeit the only (Brisbane) mask they made was with the 512K (half the cache of the high end 90nm X2's) crippled cache.

    Some idiot should have made a full shrink of the 90nm (1Mb + 1Mb) mask and then they could have shut down the 90nm process alltogether.

    Idiots.
  • -6 Hide
    xyster , September 10, 2008 6:00 AM
    randomizerIs this the CPU with one working core disabled or three defective cores enabled?

    ...the latter.
  • -7 Hide
    Equalier , September 10, 2008 6:08 AM
    randomizerIs this the CPU with one working core disabled or three defective cores enabled?

    Good one Randomizer! LOL
    What AMD should have done was disable not only the bad core but disable the third core and make a very low powered X2 out of it instead of pushing all these triple core rejects.
  • -7 Hide
    randomizer , September 10, 2008 6:18 AM
    That would be one huge dual core.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 10, 2008 8:05 AM
    "A triple core is a defective quad, the silicon would have been spent anyway, they make money on what would otherwise be lost on trashed/recycled cpus."

    And you of course would be wrong with this overly simplistic statement. Like AMD, no business sense as you need to look at total ROI, and not a "grunt, grunt...it would have been thrown away anyway" analysis.

    First - the tri-core segment pushes down the upper end dual core prices which are sold IN FAR MORE VOLUME than tricores (at LEAST a 10:1 ratio, if not more) If you can make $5-10 more for 10X the volume...you do the math!

    Second - your assumption baked in (that you don't realize) is that AMD would have lost the sale if there was no tri-core bin. This is obviously not the case as with no tri-core you would have a mix of people moving up to quad core or down to dual core, and of course some may move to Intel. So to dumb this down you may end up throwing away a chip that costs $60 (or whatever a quad core costs to make), but replace that sale with a higher margin part sale. This may blow your mind but it's possible the margin on a quad sale may actually be better when comparing it to throwing a tricore away (it will at least offset the "throwing a tricore away" cost impact)

    Third - there are costs to FINISHING, SELLING, BINNING, STOCKING, MAINTAINING INVENTORY, LOGISTICS, etc of maintaining the extra bins for the tri-core. This is not huge, but not "free". So this view of it essentially being found money or effectively a free sale, is wrong.

    FINALLY - the assumption nearly everyone makes is that a tri-core is just a quad core with a non-functional core. Is it possible, some of these are working quad core that couldn't meet the TDP bin? Is it possible that AMD is 'locking' good quad cores to meet tri-core demand? people are ASSUMING these are chips that 'would have been thrown out anway' but has anyone actually confirmed this is the case for ALL tri-cores? I have seen no official statement from AMD that these are only non-working quads - while some (or even most) of them may be, ever think they all might not be?

    In short, people should look at a bigger picture of overall impact and not 'tricore or throw away' as if that sale occurs in a vacuum and has no other impact on AMD sales or other part prices.

    Or perhaps folks' 3rd garde logic on this is correct....
  • -4 Hide
    randomizer , September 10, 2008 8:38 AM
    pricedropinmadnessFINALLY - the assumption nearly everyone makes is that a tri-core is just a quad core with a non-functional core. Is it possible, some of these are working quad core that couldn't meet the TDP bin? Is it possible that AMD is 'locking' good quad cores to meet tri-core demand? people are ASSUMING these are chips that 'would have been thrown out anway' but has anyone actually confirmed this is the case for ALL tri-cores? I have seen no official statement from AMD that these are only non-working quads - while some (or even most) of them may be, ever think they all might not be?
    Of course they're not all "defective", AMD couldn't have an entire product lineup purely based on faulty chips. Well, we hope their yields aren't that bad anyway.
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