AMD now offering low-budget CPUs

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) kicked off the week by introducing three new CPUs designed to work with Microsoft Windows 7. All cost less than $100, as the company continues the highly competitive battle against Intel.

Although the announcement is somewhat appealing to consumers on a budget, the cost-friendly CPUs designed with Windows 7 support are only slightly better than earlier models.  Furthermore, the recent release of the Intel Arrandale and Clarkdale CPU platforms mean AMD still has much work to do.

Specifically, the company released the Athlon II X2 255 3.1GHZ CPU ($74) and an Athlon II X3 44 ($84) CPU, which will join a product portfolio that also includes the $99 ATI Radeon HD 5670 GPU with Microsoft DirectX 11 support.

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The most notable product launch was the Phenom II X2 555 3.2 GHz Black Edition launch, which is reportedly AMD’s fastest dual-core desktop CPU.  The new CPU (available for $99) is ideal for consumers who want dual-core computing for a cheap price.

I’ve been an avid supporter of AMD CPUs for more than 10 years, but the company’s struggles against Intel have been in the headlines for several years.  AMD restructured by replacing several board members, and plans to market even more products in the $100 price range — aiming products at cost-conscious consumers who aren’t looking for a major PC upgrade.

Releasing low-price, decent CPUs is one thing, but I’m interested to see how AMD tries to handle faster, quad-core (and beyond) CPUs.  Even though HP, Dell and other PC manufacturers have focused more on cheaper, more portable products, I still think AMD needs to work to develop a better portfolio of faster, expensive products for gamers and other power-hungry users.