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AMD 8-Core CPUs to Boost Laptop Speed

AMD is promising faster performance for laptop and desktop PCs with eight-core processors that feature its Bulldozer architecture.

The FX-8150 and FX-8120 are the first Bulldozer processors to hit the market, and offer a speed boost of more than 50 percent compared to previous AMD chips. Both belong to the re-launched FX chip family, which is aimed at gaming and high-end systems.

The FX-8150 has a base speed of 3.6GHz, which rockets to 4.2GHz in turbo mode. The FX-8120, meanwhile, runs at 3.1GHz as standard and 4GHz under load. Built using the 32-nanometre manufacturing process, AMD said the chips are un-clocked and customizable.

"AMD has historically been about total performance and not thought to be competitive in terms of power efficiency," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group. "Bulldozer is a redesign from the ground up. It aims to put AMD back in the race for power efficiency, specifically with laptop computers."

AMDs chips will rival Intel's high-end Core i7-990X Extreme Edition processor, which is based on the firm's Westmere architecture. However, Intel will soon launch an even faster Extreme Edition chip that's based on its Sandy Bridge architecture.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said the power boost and extra cores have a lot to offer high-end computer users. With a retail price of E199, these eight core chips can also offer consumers more cores per pound than anything on the market today.

But while AMD's new processors stand to put the company back in the game, Olds said they aren't "Sandy Bridge killers". AMD still has a lot of catching up to do, he noted.