“It’s been awhile, AMD. How have you been? I see you’ve improved your CPU chips quite a bit since the last time we’ve met.”
The AMD Phenom II X4 is a lot like the AMD Radeon HD 4800 series; it doesn’t take the performance crown, but it remains competitive thanks to some smart pricing. Well that is until Intel crashes the party with their rumored price cuts.
At this point in time, the $275 USD AMD Phenom II X4 940 (3.0 GHz) is positioned to take on the $266 USD Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 (2.66 GHz). Meanwhile, its little brother, the $235 USD AMD Phenom II X4 920 (2.8 GHz) is positioned to take on the Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 (2.5 GHz). If things remain the way they are, AMD will win these two “mainstream” price points, however if Intel issues price cuts to the faster Q9650 (3.0 GHz) and Q9550 (2.83 GHz).
However, the most important thing to note is that these new AMD processors are indeed competitive thanks to some fixes and enhancements to its predecessor. Some highlights on this Phenom II X4 (compared to its predecessor) include:
- The move to a 45 nm process
- Cool N’ Quiet technology that won’t rob a significant chunk of performance
- More L3 cache
- Less power consumption
- Compatibility with existing AM2+ motherboards (with BIOS update)
It’s a step forward for AMD and for the sake of competition. I’m thankful for their efforts, however with these rumored price cuts and the “mainstream” Core i7’s coming later this year, I don’t see any reason to switch back to the green team yet.