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Intel delays quad-core Penryns to pummel Phenom?

Can't hit AMD while it's down...

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Intel has delayed the release of a trio of 45nm 'Penryn' quad-core processors because, motherboard maker moles allege, AMD's Phenom chips aren't mounting a sufficient performance challenge.

So claims a DigiTimes report, and who are we to comment? Suffice it to say that last month AMD admitted there were issues with its four-core Phenom 9700 processor, discovered at the last minute and which limit performance when the chip's under "heavy load" - which, of course, is exactly when you don't want to take a hit.

AMD has said it has as Bios tweak up its sleeve that alleviates the problem - at the cost of a ten per cent reduction on overall CPU performance.

This is essentially the same issue that's hit AMD's latest Opteron server processors too.

But back to Intel, which is apparently holding off the release of the Core 2 Quad Q9300, Q9450 and Q9550, all originally expected to arrive in January, while its arch-rival sorts itself out. Intel has said the chips will ship in Q1 2008, so it has two further months to release them without busting its public deadline.

With fewer Phenoms out there than anticipated, it would seem Intel feels it makes more sense to wait until AMD rolls out its three-core Phenoms - due, it's believed, in February - and line the quads up against the trios. It also gives its current, 65nm Core 2 Quads a little more space to sell before their more advanced successors show up.

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