updated 07:45 am EST, Mon December 15, 2008
AMD Athlon X2 7000
AMD on Monday catered to the budget set with a new, faster version of the Athlon X2. The 7000 series is the first based directly on the "Stars" architecture used for Phenom chips and carries both a 2MB smart Level 3 cache absent on previous Athlons and a faster 3.6GHz HyperTransport bus (up from 2GHz), all of which are said contribute to better performance per clock. The switch from quad-core to dual-core and a smaller 1MB Level 2 cache appear the only concessions in the name of price.
The 64-bit processor is relatively power-hungry compared to most Athlons and uses 95W of power; AMD positions it as faster and greener than the company's previous best 3GHz Athlon X2 6000, which consumes 125W.
A single publicly available model, the Athlon X2 7750 Black Edition, comes in at 2.7GHz and should be ready today at a price of $79 in large batches. A second, non-Black Edition model is clocked at 2.5GHz and intended only to ship to PC makers. AMD hasn't said which systems if any are shipping with either of the new processors.