AMD slashes prices, adds new Athlon IIs

— 9:43 AM on October 20, 2009

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. Quietly last night, AMD went ahead and slashed prices on existing Phenom II and Athlon II processors, discontinuing a handful of chips in the process. In addition, the company publicly introduced a handful of new Athlon II CPUs, including low-power and triple-core models.

The company's official price list still says "Effective September 16," but it's changed quite a bit since then. Here's what's left of AMD's previous desktop CPU lineup:

Processor Cores Speed L2 cache L3 cache TDP Old price New price
Phenom II X4 965 BE 4 3.4GHz 2MB 6MB 140W $245 $195
Phenom II X4 955 BE 4 3.2GHz 2MB 6MB 125W $245 $175
Phenom II X4 945 4 3.0GHz 2MB 6MB 95W $225 $165
Phenom II X4 905e 4 2.5GHz 2MB 6MB 65W $175 $175
Phenom II X3 705e 3 2.5GHz 1.5MB 6MB 65W $125 $125
Athlon II X4 630 4 2.8GHz 2MB 95W $122 $122
Athlon II X4 620 4 2.6GHz 2MB 95W $99 $99
Athlon II X2 250 2 3.0GHz 2MB 65W $87 $69
Athlon II X2 245 2 2.9GHz 2MB 65W $66 $64
Athlon II X2 240 2 2.8GHz 2MB 65W $60 $60
Sempron 140 1 2.7GHz 512KB 45W $36 $36

That's right—no more Phenom II X4 810, Phenom II X3 720, or Phenom II X2 550. No more Socket AM2+ Phenom IIs. No more processors priced higher than $200, either—you can credit the arrival of Intel's Core i5 and i7-800 processors for that. That said, we grabbed the "old" prices in the table above from Google's cache of the price list, but actual e-tail prices were already a little bit lower before this latest round of cuts.

What about those new Athlon IIs? Here they are:

Processor Cores Speed L2 cache L3 cache TDP Old price New price
Athlon II X4 605e 4 2.3GHz 2MB 45W $143
Athlon II X4 600e 4 2.2GHz 2MB 45W $133
Athlon II X3 435 3 2.9GHz 1.5MB 95W $87
Athlon II X3 425 3 2.7GHz 1.5MB 95W $76
Athlon II X3 405e 3 2.3GHz 1.5MB 45W $102
Athlon II X3 400e 3 2.2GHz 1.5MB 45W $97
Athlon II X2 240e 2 2.8GHz 2MB 45W $77
Athlon II X2 235e 2 2.7GHz 2MB 45W $69

The low-power "e" chips might not be too terribly exciting, but the Athlon II X3 435 and 425 are a different story: they have three cores, relatively high clock speeds, and price tags well under $100. Heck, the slowest one is only $7 more than AMD's fastest dual-core Athlon II.

If you count the Athlon II X4 620, which has weathered this storm without budging from its $99 notch on the price ladder, AMD now offers three sub-$100 processors with more than two cores. Intel offers none—and probably won't for the foreseeable future. Clarkdale, which may come out in early January, will have two cores with Hyper-Threading capabilities, however.

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