Feeds
80%
AMD Phenom II

AMD Phenom II Socket AM2+ CPU

Core i7 killer?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Review AMD has updated its quad-core Phenom processor with a die-shrink from 65nm to 45nm. The first fruits of this labour are the 3.0GHz Phenom II X4 940 and the 2.8GHz Phenom II X4 920, which are both clocked higher than the 2.6GHz Phenom X4 950 so the die shrink has an immediate benefit in terms of raw clock speed.

AMD Phenom II

AMD's Phenom II: clock-speed boost...

Despite the process shrink, the die area of Phenom II has barely decreased in size from 285mm² to 258mm&sup2, thanks to a hefty increase in the amount of L3 cache. Phenom X4 has 2MB of L3 cache, but Phenom IIs have either 4MB or 6MB, depending on the model. Both the X4 920 and 940 have 6MB of L3.

One of the more significant changes has been made to the memory controller. AMD has added support for 1333MHz DDR 3 in addition to the support for 1066MHz DDR 2 (PC2-8500) memory that has been carried over from the old Phenom.

This change has the potential to cause problems as the memory controller in the processor has to be matched to the memory slots on the motherboard. AMD has adopted a new 938-pin processor socket called AM3 which is the same as AM2+ but with two pins removed. This means that an AM3 CPU will fit onto a 940-pin AM2+ motherboard with DDR 2 memory to give existing AMD customers an upgrade path, but you can't insert an AM2+ processor in an AM3 motherboard.

If the processor fits in the socket then it ought to work just fine, always provided the Bios recognises the CPU.

When AMD launched Phenom it positioned the quad-core processor as part of the Spider platform, along with a 7-series chipset and ATI Radeon HD 3800 graphics. Phenom II also gets a beastly reference: it's called Dragon when it is used in conjunction with an AMD 790GX chipset and Radeon HD 4000 graphics.

AMD Phenom II

...thanks to the die shrink

Another benefit of the new fabrication process is that the thermal envelope has been reduced from the 140W we saw with high-end Phenom X3s and X4s to a rating of 125W for Phenom II. TDP isn’t exactly the same thing as power consumption, and we found in our testing that Phenom II X4 940 consumes 20-30W less than the Phenom X4 9950 at idle and a whopping 45-50W less when the CPU was fully loaded.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.