AMD Triple Core?
Maybe I am just uninformed, but I had not heard about AMD Phenom “Triple Core” till this morning. AMD has verified that these Triple Core Phenom processors will be based on the same “Agena” cores that the Quad Core Phenom and Phenom FX processors will be based on. So, in terms of expense and silicon, a Triple Core Phenom will cost the same as a Quad Core Phenom. Obviously AMD is going to tell us that very little software in the market place is able to take advantage of four core processors and that the Triple Core Phenom will be a way to segment the market strata and allow Agena cores to make it to those computer users’ desktops that require a lower price point. And this may very well be true and we have to remember that this will leverage a new Agena core processor into a market that it will be battling a Core 2 Duo processor. And this could very much make AMD a winner in that segment.
But this leaves me asking, “ Is AMD’s Triple Core Phenom simply an effort to salvage Agena processors that did not fully yield?” And then also the flip side to that is, “Is AMD actively disabling working Agena cores to make Triple Core Phenom processors?” “Does AMD see this as their easiest path to combating Intel’s Core 2 Duo and winning?” All interesting questions which we hope will be answered.
Here is AMD’s official stance on the Triple Core via YouTube:
I don’t think AMD will be hobbling Quad Core Phenom processors in order to reach a lower price point to simply be the nice guy on the block, considering I have been told multiple times by AMD that they are selling each and every Barcelona core they can currently make. Are dealings with such powerhouses as Dell forcing AMD to segment their product line into “lesser” processors? Given AMD’s Phenom clock scaling which is likely to top out at 3GHz upon introduction, that leaves very little room to back pedal through a myriad of price points. Having another set of SKUs for the low end could surely allow AMD to retain some the Phenom value on the high end. Surely though, this gives AMD something that no competitor has and will allow them to price appropriately and maybe gives them a vicious marketing tool against the soon-to-be low end Core 2 Duo. The argument may be that no competitor wants its own triple core though. It will be interesting to see exactly what this does to the Quad Core market. On the surface, Triple Core Phenom may seem a bit trivial, but it has the ability to make a big impact not only to AMD but Intel as well.
When it comes to the consumer of a product such as this, they will likely never know or care what CPU is in their computer much less how many whatever it has inside. Maybe us enthusiasts will find something like the old Thunderbird “pencil trick
” that will allow us to get to that 4th unused core, but I would not count on that. That would be fun though.