AMD - Triple-Core Phenom Processors

AMD - Triple-Core Phenom Processors, catch the details in this Video Clip...
AMD is throwing the processor world for an interesting curve. While both AMD and Intel are eager to hype their quad-core platforms – various reasons for each – AMD is pitching something that Intel has yet to offer. A tri-core processor.

Why three cores? I'm not sure – but today they announced that they will be adding triple-core Phenom processors to their roadmap for the near future. In a video posted to AMD's site, they pitched it as a CPU that gave a competitive edge in various markets, from desktops to enterprise. Their assertion is that quad-core and beyond are giving diminishing returns, particularly in the desktop market. Obviously, this means a price reduction between these CPUs and another quad-core variant of the same series.

It is a short video, and has more marketing speak than actual technical justifications, but is interesting nevertheless. Depending on the price different between dual, quad and now triple core processors, maybe they will have a fit on the desktop.

On the technical side, this is pretty trivial to do: three to core four is just a fuse to blow. What it gets you is a whole lot of choices. Remember the smooth run of SKUs, that was the beginning. If your clocks are thermally constrained, having three instead of four cores gives you a bin or two of speed. Given how few games use a second core fully, this might be a real win.

As far as money goes, assuming there is no salvage, three cores could still be a profit win, but it could be a loss. The selling price of a three core is greater than the price of a dual, and if that difference is greater than the manufacturing cost difference between a dual and a quad, AMD wins. If it is not, or people who would buy a quad buy a tri, then they lose.

Overall, it ends up with greater flexibility for AMD. How the firm uses it will determine whether or not this is a win, loss or draw. In any case, look for it on the consumer side, not the server first, and possibly moving over if it works out.

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