It was a struggle getting it "officially" out the door, and the reviews are already lackluster, but AMD's 45nm, quad-core Phenom II has finally arrived. It's available in two flavors, the 2.8GHz X4 920 and the 3.0GHz X4 940 Black Edition, going for $235 and $275, respectively. AMD's naturally touting the ostensible cost savings of the chips -- they're supposed to split the difference between Intel's Core 2 Quad and Core i7 processor -- but in reality they seems to trail Intel's offerings pretty soundly on the price / performance curve. The accompanying Dragon platform includes a Phenom II proc, 4800-series Radeon HD graphics and a 790-series motherboard, all of which should combine for low power consumption -- up to 40 percent compared to Phenom processors. Where the Phenom II definitely wins is the fact that some AMD folks will be able to drop in the chip to existing motherboards, but otherwise it looks like value hounds and performance junkies aren't being served by this new chip -- at least until unreasonable overclocking activities make all the pain go away.

Read - AMD PR
Read - PC World review
Read - HotHardware review

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AMD finally launches Phenom II and its Dragon desktop platform