As rumor sites begin to doubt the ability of AMD's upcoming RV670 graphics processor to compete head-on with Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT, new reports suggest AMD's upcoming Phenom X4 desktop chips may not be as fast as expected, either.
A month ago, leaked Phenom roadmaps said AMD would introduce three Phenom chips this year: a 2.2GHz Phenom 9500 and a 2.4GHz Phenom 9600 in November, followed by a 2.6GHz Phenom 9700 in December. However, The Inquirer now quotes new AMD slides as saying clock speeds for the two fastest chips have been reduced. The Phenom 9700 will supposedly run at 2.4GHz instead of 2.6GHz, while the Phenom 9600 will be clocked at 2.3GHz instead of 2.4GHz. Worse yet, The Inq reports that the slower 9600 and 9700 Phenoms will have the same respective 89W and 125W power envelopes as expected.
The only upside seems to lie with AMD's release schedule. The Inq quotes a launch date of November 19 for all three chips, whereas previous reports set the Phenom 9500 and 9600 introduction for November and the Phenom 9700 launch for December.