AMD Rolls Out Phenom X2 and Phenom X4 Processors, FASN8 Platform

Illustration for article titled AMD Rolls Out Phenom X2 and Phenom X4 Processors, FASN8 Platform

Now it's official, AMD has bumped its Athlon processors off the high horse and replaced them with Phenom X2 (dual core) and Phenom X4 (quad core) processors, and the company says these new chips will be part of its enthusiast platform it calls FASN8. The company's saying that when you lash these chips together with its DirectX 10 ATI Radion HD 2000 series graphics cards shipped today, you'll get, well, some serious graphics performance. We'll believe it when we see it, but the ability to have two of these quad-core processors on one motherboard will surely make for some serious eight-way action.

AMD added lots of bluster along with the announcement, too:

With this announcement, AMD also unleashes some world-class marketing guff, calling these Phenom X4 chips the first "true quad core" processors, accusing "other products" of "packaging two dual core chips to form their quad core processors." Accusations such as this volley directed at Intel signal a hot chip war on the way.


It's going to take a lot for AMD to catch up to Intel, though, but the enhanced performance per watt of these chips, along with their Dual Socket Direct Connect architecture, 128-bit FPUs and shared L3 cache might just put a bit of heat on Intel for a while. We can't wait to see the benchmarks on these chips, because until we see the performance numbers, this just sounds like a lot of mumbo-jumbo.

Press Release [AMD]

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It would be great to see AMD back in the game. I love my Core 2 Duo, but I'd love to see the companies genuinely competing again. Drive things further. And I have no problem switching back to AMD if it's worth it. My loyalty's only as strong as the manufacturer's lead over its competition.

As for AMD's claims about quad-core, well yes, this is true. It seems like a repeat of when AMD went dual-core and Intel soldered two Pentium 4s together to make the Pentium D. Difference is this time Intel launched the soldered-together quad-core BEFORE AMD, and they still managed to bridge the two dual-cores together, removing the biggest flaw the Pentium D had. Still, assuming the overall processor architecture is at least comparable to the Core 2 Duos, AMD's approach might give their X4 the lead. Of course the depends on whether you're even doing anything that could benefit from four (or even eight) cores.