AMD's Dragon platform hopes to reinvigorate the brand

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A lot of attention has been on Intel’s Nehalem/Core i7 lineup, but AMD hasn’t been slacking. They’ve been working on rolling out their next platform, which is really much more of a complete package than I’ve seen in a while. The new 45nm Phenom II X4 processor is designed to work with the Radeon 4000 series of video cards and the newest 790 series of motherboards.

They’ve got a real triple threat here, as when you buy into their whole little ecosystem, you get some serious benefits.

phenomiiThe new 45nm X4 is the last piece to fall into place for their platform strategy, which uses the already-available Radeons and motherboards. Now I’d go into specifics, but we’re not a CPU testing facility and Hot Hardware is. They’ve got a better round-up of the technical details than I could give you, so if you want the goods, head over there.

For those of you not too concerned with the technical details, I’ll just briefly outline the benefits: the Dragon platform offers a cooler and more energy-efficient setup than the competition right now, but also provides solid performance and probably the best overclocking capabilities on the block. You also get to use ATI Stream, which is a transcoding technology that makes stuff like recompressing video for your iPod and whatnot much, much faster. It’s also, in the AMD tradition, more affordable, and although they’re planning on rolling out a new socket soon, the new processors will be backwards-compatible with the mobos out right now, so you’re not buying into a dying platform.

I’m thinking of upgrading my setup pretty soon and they did a good job of convincing me. AMD is back on the upswing, layoffs notwithstanding, and hopefully they’ll be able to take the runaway success of the 4000 series and spin it into much more than that.

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