AMD has unleashed a line of desktop chips at a time when PC sales are slowing and even Intel is experiencing tighter margins (although, that’s because of memory prices). No matter how good AMD’s offerings are, it’s going to be hard for the company to gain traction in this market. Intel can afford to cut costs to drive sales into PCs, while AMD has a much harder time.
Despite the economic crunch, AMD has put forth a strong line of chips for the desktop with its Phenom series. It includes the X3 8000, the industry’s first triple-core chip for desktops, and the X4 line of souped-up quad-core chips for desktops designed to run really high-end graphics. The X4 9100e, a power-sipping quad-core x86 processor that only uses 65 watts, makes me hopeful that a computer built with it might run cool enough to sit in the living room as a media player without the constant whir of a fan.