Having lost the CPU performance race, AMD has been focusing on the low and mid-range PC market instead. Today the thorn in Intel’s side is expanding its Phenom II and Athlon II lineup with some minor speed increases. The new Athlon II X2, X3, X4 and Phenom II X2/X4 (energy efficient) families have new siblings that are rated 100MHz higher. AMD says that continual process and engineering improvements on GlobalFoundries’ 45nm process have allowed it to release the new models.
The new models use the AM3 socket and are compatible with AM2+ motherboards that have the proper BIOS support enabled. AMD sees them as a good upgrade for budget-weary consumers. AMD is currently working on several new 800-series AM3 chipsets that are expected to be released in several months. Some will feature integrated DirectX 10.1 graphics, but ATI has recently released several new discrete DirectX 11 GPUs aimed at the value-market that should tempt even the most frugal of gamers.