It has been a long time coming but AMD has finally entered the Quad Core CPU market with their Phenom 9xxx series CPUs. Intel released their Core 2 Quad CPUs early last year and AMD followed with their first four core CPUs in September of 2007. Today they have two lines of processors with Quad Cores, the Phenom and the Opteron platform. The Phenom is their consumer line of desktop quad ore CPUs and the Opteron is their server and workstation line.
So being a little late to the table with Phenom can be a good and bad thing depending on whether the new processor outperforms the competition from Intel at the same price range. Early versions of the Phenom were buggy with a TLB erratum that caused benchmarks to be lower than expected. But enough on the topic of the TLB erratum has already been published by others that I won't belabor the point. Today the CPU on the review bench is AMD's Phenom 9850 Black Edition, a quad core CPU running at a clock of 2.5GHz by default. It should be interesting to compare it against a Quad Core Intel CPU, but the price ranges are a bit different, and the early problems will hopefully be fixed by this new B3 Stepping of the Phenom. So let's see what the new CPU brings to the plate and what benefits it adds to the AMD line.