AMD launches its fastest desktop chips ever

AMD launched its Phenom II chips, which it calls its fastest processors to date.

In an attempt to gain an advantage in the gaming PC market, Advanced Micro Devices on Thursday launched what it called its "highest-performing CPUs" to date.

Two new quad-core Phenom II processors, aimed at high-end desktop PCs, were announced by AMD at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The chips succeed the Phenom processor the company launched in 2007, and come two days after AMD announced the new Athlon Neo processor for small laptops.

The quad-core Phenom II chips run at speeds up to 3GHz and include 8MB of cache. The chips are capable of even faster clock speeds under certain circumstances. For example, AMD overclocked Phenom II processors to run at up to 4GHz on air-cooled systems, and up to 5GHz on liquid-nitrogen cooling late last year.

Dell is already offering the XPS 625 desktop based on the Phenom II, though pricing information was not immediately available. PC makers HP and Alienware will also offer Phenom II-based desktops later in the year, according to AMD.

AMD is targeting gamers and enthusiasts with the chips, which are also affordable enough for mainstream users looking for a good gaming system, the company said.

AMD's Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition processor, which runs at 3.0GHz, is priced at US$275, while the Phenom II X4 920 processor, which runs at 2.8GHz, is sold for $235.

The Phenom II CPUs are manufactured using a 45-nanometer process, which makes the chips more power efficient than earlier chips.

The new chips are part of AMD's new Dragon platform for desktops, which includes graphics chips, chipsets and CPUs for gaming and media-intensive desktops. The platform includes the ATI Radeon 4800 series graphics cards in addition to the Phenom II.

An interesting feature of the platform is a set of customized controls to boost performance of gaming PCs. Called OverDrive, these controls allow users to ratchet up performance by overclocking the CPUs, which can then be easily returned to a normal speed at the touch of a button.

The platform also includes the ATI Video Converter software, which can convert videos to play on portable entertainment devices, according to AMD.

The platform will initially support DDR2 memory, but faster DDR3 memory support may come in a few months, AMD has said. Compared to DDR2 memory, DDR3 provides a larger bandwidth for quicker data transfers between the CPU and memory in PCs. To support DDR3 memory, AMD will introduce the new AM3 socket for motherboards in the next few months.

High-end chips for gaming systems are also offered by Intel, which launched its Core i7 processor in November.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.


Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?