When AMD first announced plans to introduce triple-core processors back in September of last year, reaction to the news was mixed. Some felt that AMD was simply planning to pass off partially functional Phenom X4 processors as triple-core products, making lemonade from lemons if you will. Others thought it was a good way for AMD to increase bottom line profits, getting more usable die from a single silicon wafer and mitigating yield loss. We were somewhat perplexed by the first reaction. This is an age-old strategy in the semiconductor space and after all, the graphics guys have been selling GPUs with non-functional units for years. AMD was simply borrowing a play from ATI's playbook.
Without actual product, it's tough to argue either way, of course. But thankfully, AMD has delivered their first batch of triple-core processors and we can finally put the whole debate to rest.