If you're looking for a new CPU to build a system around, AMD has just dropped a half dozen onto the marketplace, including a new six-core Phenom II.
The new processors comprise three Athlon II chips and a trio of Phenom II parts. On the low end, there's the 3.3GHz dual-core Athlon II X2 265 for $76 and the 3.2GHz triple-core Athlon II X3 450 for $87. A 3.1GHz quad-core Athlon II X4 645 runs $122, while the 3.3GHz dual-core Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition is cheaper at $105. (The Black Edition means the multiplier is unlocked for easier overclocking.) Rounding out the new CPUs are a 3.5GHz quad-core Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition for $185 and the $245 3GHz six-core Phenom II X6 1075T.
None of these processors is a major overhaul, so their performance gains will be mild, as Hot Hardware found when it tested the Phenom II X6 1075T, Athlon II X4 645, and Athlon II X4 645, though it concluded that "the Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition offers the best single-thread performance of any AMD desktop processor to date along with excellent multi-threaded performance as well." The Phenom II X6 lineup also offers hexa-core performance for less than a third of the price of Intel's six-core Gulftown CPUs. And the new Athlon II quad core is roughly one third cheaper than the least costliest Intel quad-core chip, which helps keep AMD ahead in price versus performance if you're planning to build a PC on a budget.