AMD is gearing up to launch its fastest dual-core Athlon 64 processor yet, it has been claimed. Such a product would be handy: last week, the chip maker admitted its Phenom won't appear in significant volumes until Q1 2008, later than previously thought.
According to Taiwan-based industry moles cited by local newssite DigiTimes, the 3.2GHz Athlon 64 X2 6400+ will "ship shortly" for $220-248, just above the current top-of-the-line Athlon, the $178, 3GHz 6000+. It will contain 2MB of L2 cache, they say.
The sources maintained the part, not seen on past roadmaps, will be introduced in a bid to stand up against Intel's new Core 2 Duo E6850, a 3GHz part introduced last week alongside the 2.66GHz E6750 - reviewed here.
Surely related is AMD COO and President Dirk Meyer's admission at the company's recent earnings conference that "we’ll be shipping the Phenom variance of the new product in Q4 but frankly, that’s going to be late enough in Q4 that while there’ll be some contribution to the bottom line, it won’t be substantial", according to a variety of online reports.
In short, don't expect to see Phenom-based systems in the shops until early 2008.
Earlier this month, AMD denied claims that the Phenom line had slipped to Q1 2008. To date, the chip maker has only said in public that the parts will arrived in H2 2007, and according to Meyer's statement, that deadline will be met, technically. But it's clear the rumours were substantially correct: that the bulk of AMD's Phenom output won't arrive until next year.