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AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W CPU review

by Tarinder Sandhu on 27 August 2010, 07:00 4.5

Tags: Phenom II X6 1055T, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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So what's new

Enhancing the six-pronged attack

Processor company AMD has used the backdrop of the recession to promote a range of value-orientated CPUs and GPUs. The processors run from single-core models through to six-core processing, and no consumer CPU costs you more than £225. AMD would rather charge you £500-plus for its top-of-the-line components, much as it did five years ago, but Intel's performance Core i7 chips, spanning £190-£780, keep AMD's pricing hemmed in.

So which AMD CPU should you buy, appreciating the vast range on offer? Looking towards the future with an aim of insulating yourself from continual upgrading, the Phenom II X6 chips make a compelling case. First uncovered two months ago, the 95W version of the Phenom II X6 1055T looks particularly tasty, coming in at £150.

Lower-power goodness

AMD first introduced the X6 1055T with a thermal design point (TDP) of 125W, keeping power-draw parity with the faster X6 1090T. Now with yields improving at a steady rate and computer manufacturers looking to place these six-core chips in ever-smaller chassis, bringing cooling and ventilation to the fore, AMD has been able to reduce the TDP by 30W, to 95W, without having to tamper with the chip's performance parameters. This means it operates at a native 2.80GHz and is able to boost frequency to 3.30GHz under ideal conditions.

Knowing that the 95W version of the 1055T is preferable from a power standpoint, how would you, the consumer, be certain that you're making the correct purchase? AMD helps out by having different stock codes for the 95W and 125W parts, where the newer chip is referred to as HDT55TWFK6DGR when purchased as an OEM part and HDT55TWFGRBOX if made available in retail form, including cooler and three-year warranty. Contrast this with a HDT55TFBGRBOX code for the 125W retail. Got it?

But you can't purchase it alone in Europe

AMD muddies the water outside of Japan by insisting that the 95W part is purchased as part of a fully-built PC or, at the very least, in a bundle form, together with a motherboard. We view this as a move to safeguard current 125W-rated stock, because we would see no reason to go for the higher-power chip at the same price point. In due course we hope that AMD phases out the 125W model and brings 95W goodness to all six-core chips.

Under the tenuous assumption that an enthusiast could get their mitts on a Phenom II X6 1055T 95W CPU, it would line up against its peers thus.

Specifications

Model number Cores
threads
GHz clock Turbo Boost (max)  Process Die size Transistors Cache Interface Memory controller
Official memory support
TDP
Socket Price (as of today)
Phenom II X4 965 BE 4/4 3.40 N/A 45nm (Deneb) 258mm² 758m 2MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,333+ 95W AM3 £145
Phenom II X6 1055T 95W  6/6 2.80 3.30 45nm (Thuban) 346mm² 904m 3MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,600+ 95W AM3 £150
Phenom II X6 1090T 6/6 3.20 3.60 45nm (Thuban) 346mm² 904m 3MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,600+ 125W AM3 £225
Core i5 661 (IGP) 2/4 3.33 3.60 32nm (Clarkdale) 81mm² 382m 512KB L2
4MB L3
DMI Dual-channel DDR3-1,333 87W LGA1156 £160
Core i5 750 4/4 2.67 3.20 45nm (Lynnfield) 296mm² 774m 1MB L2
8MB L3
DMI Dual-channel DDR3-1,333 95W LGA1156 £150
Core i7 860 4/8 2.80 3.46 45nm (Lynnfield) 296mm² 774m 1MB L2
8MB L3
DMI Dual-channel DDR3-1,333 95W LGA1156 £220
Core i7 870
4/8 2.93 3.60 45nm (Lynnfield) 296mm² 774m 1MB L2
8MB L3
DMI Dual-channel DDR3-1,333 95W LGA1156 £230
Core i7 920 4/8 2.67 2.93 45nm (Bloomfield) 263mm² 731m 1MB L2
8MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £190
Core i7 975 EE 4/8 3.33 3.60 45nm (Bloomfield) 263mm² 731m 1MB L2
8MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £700
Core i7 970  6/12 3.20 3.46 32nm (Westmere) 248mm² 1,170m 1.5MB L2
12MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £680
Core i7 980X EE 6/12 3.33 3.60 32nm (Westmere) 248mm² 1,170m 1.5MB L2
12MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £795

The lengthy table highlights that the obvious competitor to AMD's chip is Intel's Core i5 750. Purchasing a better Intel CPU would necessitate a larger budget -  46 per cent more for the Core i7 860 - and a sacrifice in power-draw if plumping for the long-established Core i7 920. In this regard, then, the AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W is ideally positioned from both performance and power-draw viewpoints.