All for Phenom and Phenom for all.
Its current line-up of quad-core Phenom processors hasn’t exactly endeared AMD to those hoping for a compelling alternative to an Intel CPU. There is, however, a potential sweet spot available in between the current two and four core processors which Intel isn’t tapping. Roll on the Phenom X3 range; tri-core processors set to offer an upgrade option to those using single or dual-core chips, but not quite prepared to swallow the cost of a quad-core model.
Two processors are to be available under the X3 nomenclature – the 2.1GHz Phenom X3 8400 and the 2.3GHz Phenom X3 8600. Initially these are being sent to OEMs, so expect Dell, Alienware and the like to have systems soon. Retail availability isn’t specifically stated.
Arguably AMD could also simply be trying to eke some profit out of those quad-core CPUs that don’t quite make the grade by dint of having a dead core, but that’s far too cynical an approach. If pricing is set in line with current quad and dual-core processors, preferably closer to the dual-core end of the market, then AMD could have a compelling upgrade solution on its hands.