updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue October 20, 2009
Athlon II X2, X3, X4 updated
AMD this morning sought to challenge Intel's control of the low-end processor space with eight new Athlon II processors. The new range pushes costs and power use lower, and is headlined by the Athlon II X4 600e and 605e. These clock at just 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz each but have four cores that combined use at most 45W of power and fit in very tight spaces; they also only cost $133 and $143 in bulk.
The triple-core X3 range gets the widest set of updates and includes two full-power 95W parts, the 2.7GHz 425 and 2.9GHz 435, that cost $76 and $87 respectively in the same quantities. More efficient 400e and 405e versions run at the same speeds as the quad-core models and use the same power, but as a consequence cost slightly more than the 95W chips at $97 and $102.
Two dual-core X2 chips, the 235e and 240e, run at 2.7GHz and 2.8GHz but still draw 45W of power and are the least expensive of all, costing $69 and $77 each.
AMD should be shipping the processors both as upgrade kits and as part of pre-assembled systems and is touting their performance as better than many of Intel's lower-end chips. A 2.8GHz Athlon II X2 can run media tasks as much as 70 percent faster than an equivalent Core 2 Duo while costing $40 less, the semiconductor firm claims. Similarly, a 2.9GHz Athlon II X3 can outrun a parallel Core 2 Duo but cost $100 less.