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I don't know if AMD marketing has been reading the discussions here, but they seem to be following my advice. ;-)

The new Black Edition chip is the 9850, 2.5 GHz nominal, and a price less than the current 2.3 GHz Black Edition. For now, I'll just say I am very tempted, but I will be watching ZipZoomFly and NewEgg carefully. (Neither site has the new CPUs listed yet.)

Also, AMD has officially announced the Toliman tri-core and as they have been saying, it will be OEM only--with a launch on QVC March 31st. Details here:,,51_104_543~124455,00.html The X3 will come in two models, the 8400 at 2.1 GHz and 8600 at 2.3 GHz. The target is definitely budget home systems.

As for the new X4s, official prices can be found here:,,30_118_609,00.html?redir=CPT301
AMD Phenom™ X4 Quad-Core processor  	      Price
Phenom 9850 BE 2.5GHz, 125W, 4000MHz HT $235 effective 4/7
Phenom 9750 2.4GHz, 95W, 3600MHz HT $215 effective 4/7
Phenom 9750 2.4GHz, 125W, 3600MHz HT $215 effective 4/7
Phenom 9650 2.3GHz, 95W, 3600MHz HT $215 effective 4/7
Phenom 9600 BE 2.3GHz, 95W, 3600MHz HT $251
Phenom 9600 2.3GHz, 95W, 3600MHz HT $251
Phenom 9550 2.2GHz, 95W, 3600MHz HT $209

I left the two 9600 prices (regular and Black Edition) in to help explain some of the other prices. In the electronics industry there are two mechanisms that help handle the way prices on older models drop when new CPUs (or other parts) come out, or even when all that happens is the release of a new price list. First most distributors and many OEMs are 'protected.' If a price drops on parts in stock, but not yet sold to end users, the distributor only has to pay the new (lower) price when they ship the CPU to an OEM or end user. Large OEMs get the same sort of protection, but only on chips in inventory, not installed in computers.

Finally, when unsold parts are returned by distributors, they get the current price list price, not the one at which the parts were shipped. (This explanation simplifies things greatly. Also individual distributor agreements can include restocking fees, or limit the number of parts that can be returned.)

So what does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Look above again. If you just looked at the price list, no one would buy a 125 watt 9750, or the (95 watt) 9650. The 95 watt 9750 is the same price. What this really means is that any 125 watt 9750s and 95 watt 9650s that are already in hardware will be sold in stores or through e-mail order. But AMD isn't making any more of those parts. A similar argument applies to the 9x00 models. There is no reason for anyone to buy them--except in a system and at a strong discount--after April 7th. (And in reality before then as well.) AMD is moving to aggressively clear out inventories of the older parts on shelves, even to the extent of buying them back from distributors.
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