Conclusion: The AMD platform has long been known for its backwards compatible platforms with AM2+ CPUs able t work with the AM2 motherboards with a BIOS upgrade, and now the AM3 CPUs able to use the same AM2+ motherboards with DDR2 memory meaning the total cost of ownership for a new system with an AM3 CPU is potentially much less than the equivalent Intel CPU with a new motherboard and DDR3 memory combination.
Excerpt: The AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition ($117 list) is a quad-core CPU designed for use with AMD's AM3 socket. This 64-bit chip is based on the Deneb processing core, and was developed using AMD's 45nm production process. It runs at a clock speed of 3.2GHz, and has a total of 2MB of L2 cache (512KB per core) and 6MB L3 cache.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review
9 August 2009
Summary: The 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition is the companies' latest quad-core processor, and it's being released in tandem with a new memory tuning tool called Black Edition Memory Profiles, or B.E.M.P. for short.
Conclusion: Comparing the Phenom II X4 series to the latest Intel Core i7 processors is not completely fair, as they are intended to serve two different markets, at least for now. At $290 the Core i7 920 is slowly closing the gap, though with the current pricing of Intel X58 motherboards and triple-channel DDR3 memory kits, the main target for the Phenom II X4 is still the Intel Core 2 Quad.