AMD Athlon II CPUs: cheaper & faster than Intel's Core 2 Duos

AMD's latest low-cost processors

have gone live

, slotting into the Athlon II series, and each promises a decent balance of price, heat output and performance.  The new range kicks off from the AMD Athlon II X2 235e, a 45W 2.7GHz chip priced at $69 in thousand-unit quantities, and scales all the way up to the 2.3GHz Athlon II X4 605e at $143.

In fact there are six 'e' CPUs, each with 45W TDP, and two standard 95W processors.  AMD quote not only Intel-besting performance and power economy, but pricing too; the X2 240e, for instance, is said to be up to 70 percent better in media and entertainment benchmarks than the $40 more expensive Intel Core 2 Duo E7400, while the Athlon II X3 435 is $100 cheaper but delivers up to 75 percent better media and entertainment performance when compared to the Intel Core 2 Duo E8500.