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The most disappointing is the 95W TDP rating, which is the same TDP as most of the Phenom X4. This is quite ridiculous and shows in our energy consumption charts. We did not have a 7550, so we down-clocked the 7750 200MHz, which should also give a better comparison to the 4850e which is also clocked at 2.50GHz. The only impressive thing is the Kuma does keep its idle power consumption low even when overclocked, but we suspect that is due to the mainboard VRM design.
Speed-wise, it's a good step forward for AMD, but Intel has clearly the lead with their Wolfdale CPUs. Intel Core i7 is a different story entirely, but of course they are in another performance league.
The price for this new CPU is around €75,- now €20,- cheaper compared to the slower 6500. We are sure the price will decline under the €70,- mark, so pricing is very competitive. The problem is with the boards. AMD says it's best to pair their CPUs with 790GX boards. We found only three boards under the €100,- mark, most are around the €120,- mark. On the other hand, you can find Intel P35 boards which will run nicely with E5 and E7 series for about €60,-.
Mind you, if you opt for an AMD 740G or 780G-based motherboard instead of the 790GX, you'll have to spend even less, as they cost around €40 and €50, respectively. This means you can get a motherboard and CPU for under €125, which sounds like a good deal, all things considered, although you should expect limited overclocking with such low-end motherboards.
For gamers a chipset with graphics does not make sense, but the integration of the graphics core does add cost. Until now there is no graphics-card that can be shut down completely when not in use, so the energy-saving argument is not a valid one here, either. The 790FX chipset and boards are out for over a year and don't have the latest innovations in CPU power regulations, such as power off phases when not in use, as our MSI DKA790GX board does.
There is much work ahead for AMD. They need to lower the TDP and introduce a cheaper chipset, if possible, a single chip solution. Due to the low price we are sure there will be some attractive bundles for the big OEMs. If you like to build an HTPC machine, it's best you go with 780G and Athlon X2 4850e, because this will at least save you some money on your power bill, help keep heat and noise down, whereas CPU speed does not matter as much. On the other hand, the new Athlon 7750 could also be an interesting and affordable upgrade option for K8 users who don't need a quad-core just yet. Intel is still top dog in this market segment, but AMD is finally starting to put up a fight.
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