From our time spent with AMD's new Phenom processors, we can tell that AMD still has quite a lot of work to do before it catches up with Intel. Part of that catching up will have to come in the form of chips with higher clock speeds, but the company also plans to compete in a new playing field of its own making with the introduction of triple-core Phenom processors. The company will eventually challenge Intel's Core 2 Duos with dual-core Phenom chips, as well.
So far, AMD has only rolled out quad-core Phenoms, but German hardware site PC Games Hardware says it was able to test yet-unreleased Phemom X3 and Phenom X2 processors, and it has some benchmarks to show for it. The benchmarks only cover three applications: 3DMark06, Cinebench R10, and WinRAR, but they compare a 2.3GHz Athlon 64 X2 4400+ with dual-, triple-, and quad-core Phenoms clocked at the same speed. They also throw in a Core 2 Quad Q6600 for good measure.
Overall, PC Games Hardware's benchmarks show the triple-core Phenom delivering scores about 17% lower than its quad-core sibling. Interestingly, the benchmarks show the dual-core Phenom only performing 10% better overall than the similarly clocked Athlon 64 X2. The biggest difference between the two dual-core models is in WinRAR, with 3DMark and Cinebench giving the Phenom X2 a much smaller speed advantage.