As expected, AMD rounded out today its new line of triple-core Phenom processsors.
The three new chips include the 2.4GHz Phenom X3 8750 ($195), 2.3GHz Phenom X3 8650 ($165), and the 2.1GHz Phenom X3 8450 ($145). The prices overlap with some of AMD's fastest Athlon dual-core processors, such as the $146 Athlon X2 5600+ and $167 Athlon X2 6000+.
Like the newest quad-cores, these Phenom X3s are the latest version, the B3 stepping, which resolves the flaw in a CPU cache, the Translation Lookaside Buffer or TLB, that hurt the performance of early Barcelona processors. The current Phenom X3s, which were announced less than month ago, included the 2.3GHz Phenom X3 8600 and 2.1GHz Phenom X3 8400. These initial triple-cores were B2s that suffered from the TLB problem.
Though the Phenoms can't match the performance of Intel's fastest chips, AMD is sticking with its strategy of pushing its multi-core chips as the best "balanced" solution, when combined with the AMD 780 series chipsets. But for OEMs the most attractive feature of Phenom is the price tag. The prices of the newer B3s give you a good idea of the rock-bottom prices of the first batch of Phenom X3s (though they were never added to AMD's price list). That is why Phenom X3s have been popping up in desktops at Best Buy from HP and others.