May 2011 launch of desktop CPUs: one month later
Exactly one month ago, on May 3, AMD launched a few speed bump versions of Athlon II and Phenom II microprocessors. Reviews of the flagship quad-core Phenom II 980 model were posted all over the net, and it was added to official pricelist along with Athlon II X3 460. Specifications of three additional processors, Athlon II X3 425e, Athlon II X4 620e, and Phenom II X2 570, were posted on AMD website. Overall, the launch of 5 new chips seemed like a newsworthy event, expect that the processors never made it to the stores. After one month we can assert that most of released parts are still not available for sale.
Currently, it's not possible to buy Phenom II X4 980 from any store, although several smaller online shops have this processor on special order. Athlon II 425e, 620e and Phenom II 570 are nowhere to be found. Only Athlon II X3 460 emerged in stores in the last day or two. For example, it is sold by Buy.com on eBay for $93.24 with free shipping in US, or you can get it from Provantage.com for $92.25 plus shipping, or from Amazon.com. For reference, official AMD price for tray Athlon II 460 in 1K quantities is $87, therefore paying $93 for a single boxed processor with the fan/heatsink and three year warranty is a good deal.
Before May's launch, there were rumors about another Phenom II microprocessor, quad-core 850 with 3.3 GHz clock frequency and no L3 cache, coming out in the second quarter 2011. In essence, this model is a re-branded Athlon II X4 655. In the past few days this CPU became available for pre-order in some online shops, like PCSuperStore or Overclockers UK. In US, pre-order price of this model is around $115 - $120.
Update (June 11): The story was published on Friday, June 3, and in three days the Phenom II X4 980 surfaced in a few smaller online stores. At this time, one week after the original story publication date, this processor is sold by many major online shops, including NewEgg, and some brick-and-mortar stores, like Fry's Electronics.
Jul 13: AMD Athlon II 270 and Phenom II 850 are available for pre-order
May 03: AMD launches new Athlon II and Phenom II CPUs
Apr 27: New AMD CPUs for Q2 2011