Some reviews of AMD's new quad-core Phenom B3 revision processors appeared on the web today. Anand from AnandTech took a personal look at the chip and concludes AMD is getting more competitive and that their new Phenom processors are a viable alternative to Intel's processors:
The Core 2 Quad Q6600 is becoming long in the tooth and could stand a quick transition to the Q9300, which Intel appears to have scheduled for next quarter. The $266 price point, while very aggressive, leaves a lot of room for AMD to come and play in the $175 - $250 space. Intel needs cheaper quad core offerings, especially once AMD starts shipping its triple core Phenom in retail.
If you're building a new system, Intel is still the way to go and once 45nm pricing/availability works out the value proposition will only improve. What's changed is that AMD is now a realistic alternative. Just four months ago there was no point in even considering Phenom, but today it is a viable alternative. If AMD could simplify its lineup a bit and squeeze some extra frequency headroom out of its chips, all while keeping its aggressive pricing we may just have a return to competition in the desktop CPU space.
Another review of the Phenom X4 9750 and 9850 processors can be found at The Tech Report. Their reviewer says AMD is back in the game and that these new parts are a good upgrade for existing Socket AM2 systems:
The best thing I can say about the Phenom X4 9750 and 9850 is this: AMD is back in the game. The banishment of the TLB erratum to the history books is, of course, a welcome development, and the higher clock frequencies now available are a small but important step in the right direction. The Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition can't always keep pace with the Core 2 Quad Q6600 or the Core 2 Duo E8500, but it's close. AMD still hasn't caught up to Intel's 65nm "Kentsfield" processors in terms of overall performance or power efficiency, yet it has produced a credible alternative to those products. That fact, combined with aggressive pricing and the bold move of offering an unlocked upper multiplier on a $235 quad-core processor, has enabled the Phenom to grab our attention. We can finally say with confidence that if you have an existing Socket AM2 system and want to upgrade, buying a Phenom looks like a more attractive upgrade path than making the switch to Intel.