3.2GHz Athlon II X3 may debut next quarter

Look for two new Athlon II X3 processors on store shelves in the not-too-distant future. According to Fudzilla, AMD is cooking up an Athlon II X3 445 and an Athlon II X3 450, and the latter is primed for a launch in the third quarter of this year.

The two processors will run at 3.1GHz and 3.2GHz, respectively, providing not-so-small speed boosts over today's triple-core Athlon II flagship, the 3GHz X3 440 (which retails for $84.99). Fudzilla says the Athlon II X3 450 will have a 45-nm Rana core with 1.5MB of L2 cache, no L3 cache, and a 95W power envelope, so the new additions should otherwise resemble their predecessors.

Prior reports also suggest AMD is readying a quad-core Athlon II X4 640, presumably with a 3GHz clock speed (assuming consistency in the firm's model numbering scheme). So, odds are good we'll see either faster models or speed boosts in the lower echelons of AMD's product lineup by the end of next quarter.

Last time AMD introduced a bunch of new Athlon IIs, some speed increases propagated downward. The arrival of the Athlon II X4 635 pushed the Athlon II X4 630 from $119 to just $100, for instance.

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