updated 08:10 am EST, Mon February 9, 2009
AMD Phenom II Budget CPUs
AMD this morning added to its just recently launched Phenom II processors with several new models geared towards undercutting Intel's mainstream line. Two of these, the Phenom II X4 910 and 810, both clock in slightly lower at 2.6GHz but also consume much less power at 95W. The 910 comes with the same 6MB of Level 3 cache while the 810 scales back to 4MB to further reduce its price. Both are also some of the first to use AMD's new AM3 socket and support higher-bandwidth DDR3 memory.
Three lower-end processors mostly address prices by reducing speed and the number of cores. The Phenom II X4 805 is slightly slower at 2.5GHz, while two Phenom II X3 chips (the 720 Black Edition and 710) carry higher speeds of 2.8GHz and 2.6GHz and the full 6MB Level 2 cache but use just three cores. They also gain the same support for DDR3 memory. The Black Edition is unlocked to let overclockers freely boost the speed.
AMD hasn't priced the 910 and 805 but has priced the rest of the line. The 810 costs $175 at retail and is meant to outrun low-end Core 2 Quads; X3 processors cost $145 for the 2.8GHz version and $125 for the 2.6GHz model, with both competing against high-end Core 2 Duo chips. All of the new processors should be available today.