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Today marks a historic occasion for AMD. After delays of more than a year, the company can finally present its new, highly anticipated processor - and not a moment too soon. AMD needs a fresh product. While this CPU was originally meant as a competitor to Intel's Core 2 CPUs, the balance of power in the CPU arena has shifted over the past 18 months. The new processor, dubbed Phenom by AMD, is the first quad-core CPU by AMD and, as the company likes to remind us, the first native quad-core design.
The exhaustion in the faces of our editors in the Munich lab is a testament to the hard work they've put into this article over the past few hours and days. We tested all three models of the new processor, the Phenom 9700, Phenom 9600 and Phenom 9500 , running each of them through our benchmark suite. Compare Prices on AMD Phenom Processors Along with the Phenom processor, AMD is also presenting its "AMD OverDrive" tool.
With the new 7-series chipset family, consisting of the 790FX, 790X and 770, AMD is simultaneously unveiling the Spider platform. Up to four graphics cards can be set up as a Crossfire X configuration using the new 790FX chipset.
All of the current and the new motherboards and processors are fully compatible with one another.
Looking towards Eastern Europe: For the actual introduction of its Phenom processor, AMD invited the press to the Polish capital of Warsaw, where the company held a three-day press conference.
Jochen Polster, manager of AMD Germany, opened the event with a keynote addressing the press. For the first time since the acquisition of graphics chip company ATI, AMD is presenting a complete platform consisting of the Phenom processor, the 790FX chipset and the HD3800 graphics card series. With this platform, code named Spider, AMD aims to offer the basis for a computer that is affordable for everyone.
Jochen Polster emphasised that the Phenom quad-core processor does not represent a high-end model for now. AMD plans to price the Phenom models markedly lower than Intel's quad-core models.
The gaming market has always been a driving force in PC sales. With the 790FX chipset, AMD now offers buyers the possibility of creating a system using up to four graphics cards in a crossfire configuration. The appropriate driver is expected for release in January 2008.
Since we already covered the HD3800 series of graphics cards in a separate launch article, we will concentrate exclusively on the Phenom quad-core processor and the new 790FX chipset in this article.
AMD's Phenom processors - our test candidates today.