AMD launches triple-core processsor

AMD has announced the first ever triple-core x86 processor, part of its upcoming Phenom range, to complement its dual and quad-core chips.

The chips are expected in the first quarter of 2008, and will be the first triple-core processors on the market.

AMD claims that because many applications and games are now designed with dual-core processors in mind, a third core could be beneficial by taking care of background tasks, such as virus scanning. This could be a boon for gaming, where a scheduled background task can temporarily slow gameplay.

The chips won’t be a true triple-core design, but a quad-core chip with one core disabled and only three functioning sets of L2 cache. This removes the need to set up a new production line, and will help to keep costs to a minimum.

A financial benefit for AMD is the fact that defective quad-core processors can now potentially be sold as triple-core, if the defects are confined only to one of the four cores.

While it may seem counter-intuitive to create a chip that has its performance deliberately crippled, it will create a wider product range for AMD – customers will be able to choose between a range of single, double, triple or quad cores at various price points. The practise of selling ‘defective’ CPUs at a lower price point is hardly new; Intel’s 486SX processor, sold in the 1990s, was a 486DX part with the maths co-processor disabled.

AMD isn’t making any specific claims about performance, except to say that the new chips will provide a significant boost over dual-core offerings, and appeal to a broader audience.

There’s been no comment on pricing, but it will have to be very competitive to prevent customers opting for lower-end quad-core options instead.

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos