Besides the recent launch of new Radeon GPUs, AMD is also preparing for a Monday launch of its new platform built around the new Phenom processors and the 700 series chipsets. While we are hearing nice things about the flagship 790FX chipset that will also be launched next week, the expectations are all about the processors, especially because it will give current AM2 socket motherboard owners the possibility of swapping and upgrading to the new generation of CPUs without having to change additional components.
The new Phenom processors are based on the K10 micro-architecture and will be aimed directly towards Intel's Core 2 family. On launch date you can expect three models to be available, all Phenom X4s which means they will carry four cores and a 2+2MB L2/L3 Cache: the 9700 (2.4GHz), 9600 (2.3GHz), and 9500 (2.2GHz).
According to sources close to AMD distribution channels we got word that volume pricing for these processors would look like this next Monday:
Phenom X4 9700 / 2400MHz / 4MB Cache / 2000MHz HT / 125W - $279
Phenom X4 9600 / 2300MHz / 4MB Cache / 1800MHz HT / 95W - $269
Phenom X4 9500 / 2200MHz / 4MB Cache / 1800MHz HT / 95W - $239
If such pricing scheme is indeed implemented, the Phenom would be undercutting similar Intel "Penryn" quad core processors. Earlier this month a different report pointed to prices that were a bit steeper, hopefully they will go with this one.
Hints so far have indicated that the Phenom will not be able to compete with Intel's flagship $999 CPUs, but if they can deliver competitive pricing and performance, we see no reason why they could not recover some ground in the mainstream sector. Just like with the recent release of new Radeon GPUs, we say welcome back competition.