AMD is rolling out several new desktop processors, including a six-core Phenom II chip priced significantly lower than the lowest-cost Intel Core processor.
Advanced Micro Devices officials have always seen price as a key
differentiator in the company's competition with much larger rival Intel.
That mindset can be seen in the latest desktop PC processors
unveiled by AMD Sept. 21, one of which is the
six-core Phenom II X6 1075 processor. The processor includes AMD's
Turbo Core, a power-boosting feature introduced earlier in 2010 that lets users
ramp up the speeds on active cores when three or more of the cores in a chip
aren't being used.
The Phenom II X6 1075 is priced at less than $250 per shipment
of 1,000 chips. By comparison, Intel offers a number of six-core chips, the
cheapest of which is the Core i7-970, with a price of $885 for a thousand units,
according to Intel's Website.
AMD also unveiled two Black
Edition chips, which let users more easily overclock the processors when
needed. The chips are the quad-core Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition and the
Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition.
There also are three new Athlon chips for low-end systems: the
dual-core Athlon II X2 265, triple-core Athlon II X3 450 and quad-core Athlon
II X4 645. The cheapest of these processors, the Athlon II X2 265, comes in at
AMD's push to undercut Intel's
processor prices came into full focus the week of Sept. 13 in San
Francisco. While Intel executives were hosting the
Intel Developer Forum and introducing the upcoming "Sandy
their AMD counterparts were in a nearby
hotel suite showing off the "Zacate"
(Accelerated Processing Unit), which like Sandy
Bridge offers compute and graphics
capabilities on a single piece of silicon.
In an interview, Bob Grim, director of client platform
marketing at AMD, said where his company
will have an advantage over Intel is in the systems they're targeting with
their new chips. Grim said he expects Sandy
Bridge will first appear in
high-end PCs, and then cascade down to the midrange and low end over time.
AMD is aiming its Zacate
processor at systems in the $500 range, Grim said.
"We're bringing it in at the heart of the mainstream
market," he said, adding that the AMD
technology will be available to more people more quickly.
Systems with both Sandy Bridge
and Zacate are scheduled to begin appear in 2011.