A quick look at Tom's Hardware CPU chart shows us that the Phenom Quad Core 9500 performs slightly better than the Intel Dual Core E8400.
I have been a fan of AMD products over the past 6 years or so, and have built quite a few PC's using their processors. I even used their XP6000+ CPU in my last build, when I probably should have gone with an Intel chip. I would have expected AMD's initial release of Quad-cores to at least match the performance of the lower tier of Intel's current Quad-core offerings. This is not the case, as evidenced by the charts.
The Phenom 9500 is selling at a very competitive price, however. It clearly outperforms the E8400. The E8400 is retailing for ~$240 at NewEgg while the Phenom 9500 is retailing for$189. This is a $50 savings, which is significant.
AMD may continue to keep market share in the performance/value niche. I saw a Gateway desktop with a Phenom 9500 CPU installed in the Office Depot circular this weekend. It has a Phenom 9500, 3GB Ram, and a 1TB hard drive for $650. No monitor included, and I'm almost certain that the machine was using an integrated video board. Still, for non-gamers, that is some serious performance.For people that like to build their own systems...we will have to wait and see. Is it worth it to build on an AMD platform to save $50? The AMD CPU is rated at 95 watts, while the Intel Q series use 65 watts. Also, early reports are that the Phenoms are not overclocking well at all.
Dissapointing results so far. Hopefully later Phenom releases will fare much better, but so far Phenom does not look to be the saviour of AMD. :(