Triple core processors have allowed AMD to sell a lot more Phenoms, as any Quad Cores that have one core that is not up to spec can have the troublemaker disabled.  Now they have a fully functional Triple Core, which runs at the speed they had expected it to.  Of course, things are never that easy.  In this case it is the assumption that many programs make, that the number of cores available will be divisible by two, so a triple core is identified as a single.  Lost Circuits tries to pin down where you might see this problem, and just how many end users will ever notice the lack of the fourth core.
“Three Cores instead of four is the word of the day. AMD follows in the footsteps of ATI’s “Pro” series to increase yield on the Phenom series. As it turns out, though, it is not just an issue of reducing the number of cores and incurring some scaling back of performance, there are also software recognition and licensing issues that come into play. In the end, while the Phenom X3 performs admirably well in some applications, it’s performance comes in last in a number of other applications simply because, in a triple core configuration, those will only utilize a single core.

Does that really matter for the end user?”

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