Feeds
70%

AMD CPU shoot-out: Phenom X3 and X4

Intel killers?

High performance access to file storage

Review The birth of AMD’s quad-core Phenom processor was plagued with problems. After a gestation period more akin to an elephant than a CPU, the new silicon popped out puking and bawling but was clearly a bit of a runt.

The problem was the now-infamous TLB error that crippled performance and reduced clock speed with the result that the B2 stepping of Phenom was only available in two models.

AMD Phenoms

AMD's Phenoms: (clockwise from top left) 9600, X3 8750, X4 9750, X4 9850

Neither the 2.2GHz Phenom 9500 nor the 2.3GHz 9600 delivered enough performance to trouble Intel's Core 2 Quad Q6600, which was a direct competitor at the same price. As an added kick in the teeth, Phenom would barely overclock while the Intel processor could manage a clock speed of 3GHz without breaking a sweat.

AMD fixed the TLB problem with its B3 stepping and also got a bit creative with the model codes that it used. Phenom X4 9x50 denotes a quad-core B3 that effectively replaces the original Phenom. The Phenom X3 8x50 is also a B3 but is unusual in that it's a tri-core processor. Phenom is similar to Core 2 Quad in many respects but there is one significant difference as Phenom is a native quad-core design with all four cores on the same die. By contrast Core 2 Quad is a dual-core design, so Intel uses two processor dice to cobble together its four-core CPUs.

Naturally, AMD touts this difference as a major advantage for Phenom as it allows HyperTransport to strut its stuff, while Core 2 is theoretically crippled by a lousy communication path through the frontside bus and then off to the northbridge of the chipset to the memory controller.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.