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Advanced Micro Devices Inc. officially launched its Athlon 64 X2 processor on Monday, backed by four key OEMs.

AMD’s launch is backed by its old ally, Hewlett-Packard Co., as well as Alienware in the United States. In Euorpe, Acer will supply X2 systems, and Asia’s Lenovo Group will do the same.

A “vast set of usual suspects” among the OEM and system-builder base will also design systems around the chip later this year, according to Jonathan Seckler, AMD’s AMD64 brand manager.

AMD’s attentions will now shift to marketing the new chip, through its tried-and-true evangelism campaign as well as more technical discussions. From a design standpoint, the current version of the X2 outstrips the Intel Pentium D by a significant margin in most benchmarks. In part, the performance improvement is believed to be due to the fact that Intel funnels its memory requests through a single unified front-side bus, which AMD calls a bottleneck.

However, AMD’s own production is itself bottlenecked through a single manufacturing facility. One analyst has gone on record stating that AMD’s dual-core manufacturing plans aren’t truly viable, given its production limitations. Intel has also priced the Pentium D at a significant discount to the X2.

That position was sharply rebutted by Seckler, who told ExtremeTech that “everything is moving forward as planned.” AMD began shipping the X2 to OEMs on Friday, and individual chips should begin shipping to retailers on Monday for DIY system builders, Seckler said.

Read the full story on ExtremeTech: As AMD Ships X2, Focus Shifts to Marketing, Production