Yesterday marked the launch of Intel's new Core i7 processor series based on the Nehalem microarchitecture. Reviews and benchmarks poured in from around the web, describing Core i7 as extremely powerful and a worthy successor to the Core 2 series, due in large part to the CPU's on-die memory controller and Intel's new QPI technology.

AMD of course is not standing still and has recently leaked some more details of its 45nm quad-core competitor on the desktop, Deneb. The company will reportedly launch two such chips this month, the Phenom X4 20550 and 20350, with core frequencies of 3GHz and 2.8GHz respectively.

It's not yet known how well they'll perform against Intel's latest offerings and AMD has already claimed that initially they don't intend to compete at the enthusiast level, but at least the company is making the chips compatible with current AM2+ motherboards via a bios update - so unlike the Core i7 a motherboard upgrade is not necessary. AMD will also launch six 45nm triple-core CPUs in the first quarter next year, followed by six higher-end 45nm quad-core CPUs and four entry-level processors sometime in the third quarter of 2009.