It's fair to say that AMD's quad-core line-up didn't really manage to set 2007 on fire. The lacklustre performance and poor pricing in comparison to rival parts form Intel may have had something to do with that. Therefore, details on the previously rumoured tri-core Phenom offerings may be of interest to those hoping that this year can help turn the ailing company's fortunes around. According to tech site DigiTimes, sources at various motherboard manufacturers have received details relating to the release and specs of the forthcoming chips.
Coming first will be the Phenom 8600 and 8400, which will have clock speeds of 2.3GHz and 2.1GHz respectively and are expected to be launched in March. A third chip, the Phenom 8700 will have a 2.4GHz clock speed and should launch in the second quarter of this year. Later, the 8600 and 8400 will be replaced by the 8650 and 8450 which will have the same clock speeds but will be based on a revised manufacturing process - hopefully ironing out some of the problems that have cropped up on the quad-core Phenoms. For those still interested, all these chips will carry the same 95W TDP.
Pricing hasn't been given for these new chips but it seems reasonable to expect them to sit between the current dual- and quad-core offerings. Hopefully the price/performance ratio should sit similarly to our chip of 2007, the Intel Q6600, which was fantastic value for money. Of course, Intel is rumoured to be delaying its Penryn quad-core chips to coincide with Phenom's tri-core début and if the pricing is similar then even Clever Hans can do the maths and determine which is the better deal - only time will tell.