So far, 2009 has been a year of renewed competition in desktop processors, as a resurgent AMD has rolled out portions of its 45nm CPU lineup with reasonable success. For its part, Intel has responded by dropping prices on its own Core 2 processors to remain competitive, while riding high on the Core i7's undisputed performance leadership at the top of the market.
Tighter competition means better choices for consumers, but in technology, it almost always means more choices, as well. That principle was on ample display last week as AMD introduced several new products that essentially complete its transition to 45nm technology. Meanwhile, Intel has countered by quietly freshening up its low-end and mid-range offerings a bit and trumpeting the release of a new flagship CPU, the Core i7-975 Extreme.