Just like we heard, AMD has gone live with Phenom. With it, we've got an entire new platform, codenamed "Spider." The Spider PC platform combines AMD Phenom quad-core processors, ATI Radeon HD 3800 series graphics, and AMD 7-series chipsets with CrossFireX and AMD OverDrive software for what AMD calls the "Ultimate visual Experience." That's the hype. Early reviews, however, are pretty much "underwhelmed" by the launch. Oh, the HD 3800 cards are ok (for mid-range graphics) and the 7-series chipset "is in good shape," but AMD needs to roll-on those clock speeds beyond the 2.2GHz Phenom 9500 ($251), 2.3GHz Phenom 9600 ($283) and 2.4GHz and 2.6GHz Phenon 9700 and 9900 (available in Q1 2008 for $300 and $350, respectively), and do it quick, if they hope to pull ahead of Intel's quad-core offerings. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem likely.

Read -- AMD Spider press release

Read -- PC Perspective benchmark
Read -- HotHardware benchmark