Mountain House (CA) - One of our readers informed us about very expensive AMD triple-core processors being sold in the U.S. retail market. The price may be one surprise but what is even more astonishing is the fact that these triple-cores are, well, available in retail.
AMD's triple-core processors have a very simple mission - to protect the higher-end Phenom quad-core processors from pricing threats originating from Intel's dual-core processors. Leaving aside the fact that AMD recently decided to attach near-mainstream price-levels to its fastest quad-core CPUs, we were told today that the triple cores in fact fetch more money than the quad-cores in the retail segment.
Here are the prices from Amazon, AMD's tray-prices (1000-units) as well as the lowest retail prices.
Phenom 8450, 2.1 GHz - Amazon: $169.99; AMD tray-price: N/A; lowest retail price*: $164.35
Phenom 8650, 2.3 GHz - Amazon: $273.26; AMD tray-price: N/A; lowest retail price*: $186.40
Phenom 8750, 2.4 GHz - Amazon: $305.60; AMD tray-price: N/A; lowest retail price*: $218.00
Quad-Core, B3 revision
Phenom 9550, 2.2 GHz - Amazon: $195.99; AMD tray-price: $209; lowest retail price*: $165.00
Phenom 9750, 2.4 GHz - Amazon: $215.99; AMD tray-price: $215; lowest retail price*: $215.00
Phenom 9850 BE, 2.5 GHz - Amazon: $235.99; AMD tray-price: $235; lowest retail price*: $235.00
*) at the time of this writing, according to Pricegrabber.com and Google Product Search
Two things surprised us about this scenario: First, we were not aware that the triple cores are being sold in retail. Three weeks ago, AMD mentioned that these processors would be made available to OEMs and system builders only, at least initially. We are not sure whether AMD is actually cranking out an enormous number of these processors or system builders don't care about these CPUs, giving AMD enough room to send these chips into retail.
Second, the triple-cores are quite expensive, at least if we compare the price against AMD quad-core CPUs. On Amazon, the triple-core 8650 sells for 16% more than the flagship 9850 BE. Of course, these prices are set by retailers and current market conditions.
AMD has not listed tray prices for its triple-core CPUs yet.