AMD slashes prices, adds new Athlon IIs


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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