AMD announces dual-core Athlon 64 X2 3800+

Sunnyvale (CA) - A new 3800+ model joins AMD's dual-core X2 series and goes head-to-head with Intel's Pentium D processors with a more affordable price tag. The company also launched quietly the Sempron 3400, a new flagship for the firm's entry-level processor family.

The X2 dual-core chip placed AMD in its most promising market position in some time with performance outpacing the competition in all major disciplines. But AMD was criticized in pricing the processor out of the reach of many users, a move that contradicts AMD's traditional product strategy.

The high price level is brought more into balance with the X2 3800+, a dual-core that will sell for $354. For comparison, Intel lists its entry-level Pentium D 820 at $241, the 830 at $316 and the 840 at $530. Along with the new model arrives further price reduction in the X2 series. The top-end 4800+, previously priced at $1001, now runs for $902, and the 4200+ ($482) and the 4400+ ($537) are competing with Intel's fastest Pentium D for market shares.

In a first review, the processor confirmed our assessment of the value of a dual-core processor for the consumer. Users, who often push their computers to their limits and run multiple programs at the same time, will find a dual-core processor such as the new 3800+ beneficial. Other users will discover that dual core processors do not make much difference, which means that even the X2 3800+ is not worth the extra money.

Users interested in this new processor will have some time making their decision for this dual-core or rather another single-core chip: AMD said that the 3800+ is made available to "OEM customers for inclusion in their holiday products." Actual systems equipped with the processor will appear in the November/December 2005 time frame.

In response to the 64-bit capable Celeron D 351, AMD expanded its "value" processor series as well. With a clock speed of 2.0 GHz, 256 kbit of cache, SSE3 support and an improved memory controller, the Palermo core-based Sempron 3400+ processor comes close to the entry level Athlon 64 product line. AMD sells the new chip for $134.

Related stories:
Dual-Core, Simple Price: Athlon 64 X2 3800+
A Dissatifying Compromise With AMD's 64 bit Sempron 3400+