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AMD Introduces New Phenom Flagship Processor

Sunnyvale (CA) - AMD is kicking off the critical third quarter of 2008 with three new quad-core processors - two low-power models and a new high-end version for enthusiast PCs. The company maintains its mainstream pricing strategy and sells its new flagship for just few dollars more than what Intel charges for its entry-level quad-core CPU.

Just in time for the arrival of the graphics division’s new graphics cards, AMD is updating its Phenom X4 processor line. The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition is the new top-of-the-line model with a clock speed of 2.6 GHz. The processor is rated at a power consumption of 125 watts, which is one level with the Phenom 9850 (2.5 GHz) and the Phenom 9750 (2.4 GHz). As other black Edition processors, the new 9950 comes with AMD’s OverDrive performance tuning utility.

AMD lists the 9950 with a tray-price of $235, which is the same amount the company charges for the 9850 model. Compared to Intel, the 9950 slots in right between the aging Core 2 Quad Q6600 ($224) and Q6700 ($266).

On the low-power side, AMD is now offering the 65 watt Phenom X4 9350e (2.0 GHz) and Phenom X4 9150e (1.8 GHz) processors for $195 and $175, respectively.

It is interesting to note that AMD is launching these new processors not only at a time when the ATI Radeon 4800 series of graphics cards is making its way to consumers, but also the most critical time for AMD during this year: The third quarter is the time for which AMD CEO Hector Ruiz promised to return to profitability. Successful product launches, a strong back-to-school season and improved margins will be important for AMD to achieve this goal. At the current cost level, it is generally estimated that the company will have to reach at least $1.8 billion in revenue get into the black.