AMD announces three-core desktop CPU

AMD has yet to name the date when it will ship the desktop 'Phenom' processor based on its the Barcelona quad-core platform, but it today announced a new member of the family: a three-core CPU that will slide in between the quad-core Phenom X4 superslab and the dual-core Phenom X2.

Predictably christened the Phenom X3, it's actually a quad-core CPU on which one of the cores isn't working and is thus disabled. This novel approach isn't new to the tech industry: it's long been rumoured (but never confirmed by Intel) that the single-engine Core Solo processors were dual-core silicon on which one core had blown a fuse.

You can go as far back as the days of 5.25 inch floppy drives, when 720Kb disks which failed testing but could be formatted at a lower capacity were re-badged and sold as 360Kb disks. The triple-core Phenom x3 is a Phenom x4 quad-core with one (non-working) core disabled

View: Full article
News source: APC Magazine

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Mozilla Firefox 2.0.0.7

Next Story

Three US chip-makers could be next targets for trust busters

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

can anyone tell me if AMD has that absolute **** trusted program area crap that those morons at intel are forcing people to have?
I havent used AMD since AMD-K6-2s from back in the day and since then i`ve slagged them off for having like "AMD-3000" which does not run near 3Ghz and that there chips run to damm hot, but if they dont put the trusted program bull**** in, i think im gonna be changing to them

Its the same thing as how the celrons worked. It will be a quad CPU, if one of the cores fails QA test it will be disabled and sold as a TRI. Same thing works on a celron. It could be just some bad cache. They disable some and boom a celron is born.

It kinda seems that it would be a little unreliable to be buying a quad-core cpu that one of the cores has failed on, and been renamed to a tri-core. But whatever, if it saves them money. I'm just glad that I will have enough money when its time to buy a quad, to buy a quad.

I'm sure they're tested just as thoroughly as a quad-core cpu is.

If there's a market for tri-core cpus, then it'd be stupid to waste perfectly good chips.

heh, we know we've said and proved it over and over, it's based on Barcelona architecture which features a native core design with 4x512k L2 with shared 2MB L3 cache which communicate natively rather then the core 2 which need core 0 to core 3 communication over the FSB. They will also support 3-3.2GHz HT for the first round at the end of this year and lower TDP peaking round 89W for 65nm line.

.Kompressor said,
lol what's the naming convention Triple-Core or Tri-Core ?

More like.. Hard-core, cause Intel can't really do it right now.

3 core processors will be based according to early architecture plans, on a hypothetical superior form of hyper threading style technology utilizing the 3rd core as an "in reserve" physical core rather then logical that intel used on pentium 4s, it'll essentially be able to be enabled and disabled judged from when it's needed and not needed similar to how speedstep and cool'n'quiet function. This will prove a step up from dual core slightly with multi threaded application but at the end of the day this will mostly be equal to a more powerful dual core then "triple core" or quad core it will be sitting between them bridging the gap between choices giving consumers a range to suit every unique need and price.

Really? I don't see why they would do that. I know the cores are allowed to be shut off when not needed, so I hear. I"m just waiting for the quads. :-(

RAID 0 said,
Really? I don't see why they would do that. I know the cores are allowed to be shut off when not needed, so I hear. I"m just waiting for the quads. :-(

kinda comes down to like why make separate graphics cards for developers. they'll have a purpose or price for what they're worth whatever it is even if it's just a more powerful dual core processor line or a lower-end FX series for dual core.

Digix said,

kinda comes down to like why make separate graphics cards for developers. they'll have a purpose or price for what they're worth whatever it is even if it's just a more powerful dual core processor line or a lower-end FX series for dual core.

I understand the selling point.... I just want the quad cores. :-(

Interesting, I'm on a Core 2 Duo system I built my self, but the X360 uses a Tri-Core CPU so it will be interesting how well 3 cores are optimized in the desktop space.

yea coz a broken core will be *so* useful

and to the first reply, if AMD can't afford to do this, what makes you think they can afford to just bin the fail quadcore CPUs?

16535 said,
yea coz a broken core will be *so* useful

and to the first reply, if AMD can't afford to do this, what makes you think they can afford to just bin the fail quadcore CPUs?

Way to be sarcastic while at the same time showing your ignorance.

With CPU's only the first runs are usually "broken" cores being disabled.

Once yields are better what usually happens is they just disable a core by cutting the link to it, even if it's a perfectly good core.

Morpheus Phreak said,

Way to be sarcastic while at the same time showing your ignorance.

With CPU's only the first runs are usually "broken" cores being disabled.

Once yields are better what usually happens is they just disable a core by cutting the link to it, even if it's a perfectly good core.

The old nVidia 6200, as an example, used to be a 6600, but with 2 of the 6 cores disabled. Before they did away with them completely you could reactivate the extra cores and gain performance...

wst50 said,

The old nVidia 6200, as an example, used to be a 6600, but with 2 of the 6 cores disabled. Before they did away with them completely you could reactivate the extra cores and gain performance...

Gain and find your system is as unstable as buggery.

Dear god, doesn't anyone learn or does everyone around here live with a tin foil hat on thinking that 'the man' is out to screw 'joe average' (who ever he might be at any given moment in time).

kaiwai said,

Gain and find your system is as unstable as buggery.

Dear god, doesn't anyone learn or does everyone around here live with a tin foil hat on thinking that 'the man' is out to screw 'joe average' (who ever he might be at any given moment in time).

Wow another one of the sarcastic ignorant people :)

None of you apparently ever learned how to read right?

The point we're making is not that they are screwing anyone at all.
The point we're making is that as the fabs get better yields they produce cards from perfectly good samples that they later cripple to sell at a cheaper price point.

How is that screwing customers? It's cheaper for the company to do this than actually produce 2 seperate lines, which means the customers save money in the end.

That sounds like a win-win to me.

Unlike Intel (if the article true), AMD can't afford at this point to make costier quadcore chips and sell them at lower triplecore prices.

I also cant see these fit in the narrow price margains of cpu's today.

How do you know what AMD can afford? Who other than AMD knows how much it costs to make a quad core Phenom chip. For all you know they could be making a large profit on the X4 and the X3 will just make less of a profit.

Beastage said,
Unlike Intel (if the article true), AMD can't afford at this point to make costier quadcore chips and sell them at lower triplecore prices.

I also cant see these fit in the narrow price margains of cpu's today.

You do realize utilizing bad product from the X4 production line reduces the production cost and thus lowers the retail cost of the X4 processor making it more competitive with the Intel quad cores?