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AMD Confirms Shipment Of Triple-Core Phenoms

New desktop processors come in 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz and 2.4GHz flavors, first channel-built systems expected before end of March.

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Initial products in the triple-core lineup, formerly codenamed Toliman, include the 2.1GHz 8450, priced at $159 per device in 1,000-unit trays, the 2.3GHz 8650 at $179 and the 2.4GHz 8750 at just over $200, sources told ChannelWeb. The 65nm-process triple-core Phenoms are less power-hungry than AMD's comparable quad-cores -- 89W as compared to 95W -- and support socket AM2+ motherboards while featuring AMD's HyperTransport 3.0 technology.

Since the first triple-core samples were sent to partners last year, the devices have been redesigned to fix a glitch that also affected AMD's quad-core Phenoms and Opteron server processors, said Leslie Sobon, director of product and brand management for AMD's Desktop Division.

"All the parts are fixed," said Sobon, who added that some system builders would launch triple-core systems before the end of March, while volume product from major OEMs would appear in the beginning of April.

"We've had a lot of questions about scaling. In highly multi-threaded applications, like digital media-type and rendering-type apps, we're seeing an average of about 30 percent [performance] uplift between dual-core and triple-core, then 20 percent uplift from triple to quad," Sobon said.

She said AMD would couple triple-core Phenoms with its new 780G chipset in a platform codenamed Cartwheel.

The triple-core line gives AMD a "unique" product, said Brian Corn, VP of marketing and business development at Waltham, Mass.-based system builder Source Code.

"I'm trying to figure out where the product fits into our mix, because it's unique. It's going to hit a price point a little bit lower than the quads. The story's going to be, hey, we're giving you a third core. You can push off anti-virus to the third core, then have a dual-core doing your desktop apps," he said.

"AMD still has that advantage to be able to do this because of their HyperTransport technology. I'm trying to figure out what to place it up against because it's so unique, but I think the AMD loyalists will be there and they'll snap it up," Corn said.

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