Penny pinchers may get another two dual-core Athlon IIs to choose from before the end of the summer. According to Fudzilla, AMD will roll out an Athlon II X2 260 next quarter and follow up with a faster X2 265 model the quarter after that.
Both of those future processors should outperform the freshly released Athlon II X2 255. Fudzilla quotes a clock speed of 3.3GHz for the X2 265, and based on what we know about AMD's model numbering scheme, we'd expect the X2 260 to run at 3.2GHz. For the record, the existing X2 255 ticks away at 3.1GHz with 1MB of L2 cache per core and a 65W thermal envelope.
As far as precise scheduling goes, Fudzilla reckons the Athlon II X2 260 might show up in April, while the X2 265 should succeed it in the middle of the third quarter—August, in other words.
The arrival of faster dual-core Athlon IIs could increase the pressure on Intel, which currently competes in the same price range with only Pentium E6000-series CPUs based on its older architecture. Intel's cheapest Nehalem-derived processor, the 2.8GHz Pentium G6950, sells for $96 and lacks both Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost features.