TR issues Amber Alert for Athlon X2 BE-series CPUs

— 10:53 AM on June 22, 2007

We reviewed the new low-power Athlon X2 BE-2350 processor two weeks ago, one day after its formal launch. You may recall the story we told in that article about the almost total unavailability of that CPU's predecessor, a variant of the Athlon 64 X2 3800+ with a 35W TDP (power and heat) rating, in U.S. distribution channels. The new BE-2350 and its cohort, the BE-2300, were intended to replace this older chip, and their slightly higher 45W TDP ratings were supposed to ensure broader availability by making them distinct from high-demand parts like the Turion 64 X2. In fact, AMD told us to expect availability of the Athlon X2 BE-series processors immediately upon their launch.

AMD has fallen rather spectacularly short of that goal. As of today, we can't find a single BE-2300 or BE-2350 processor listed in online price search engines or at major vendors like Newegg.

When we contacted AMD to inquire about this problem, a company spokesman told us parts are available in Korea and Japan and pointed us to sites like this one that would seem to list a BE-2350 CPU for sale. The spokesman told us to expect to see these processors for sale at Newegg "in about a week or so."

We shall see about that. This is, of course, the same old story we followed with the 35W Athlon 64 X2 3800+ for months on end. The CPUs were always going somewhere, usually to large PC makers, but never into distribution in North America. For the time being, U.S. sales channels remain devoid of a product launched two weeks ago with a promise of broad and immediate availability, and we remain perplexed about why AMD consistently seems to promise low-power parts in volumes it cannot consistently deliver.

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