Feeds
70%

AMD CPU shoot-out: Phenom X3 and X4

Intel killers?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Sporty in all but name: Peugeot 308 e-THP 110
Car of the Year? Arguably. Engine of the Year? Indubitably
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.