vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
GLOBAL COMPETITION: Win a fully loaded X99 gaming rig worth £1,800! [x]
facebook rss twitter

Review: AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition CPUs

by Tarinder Sandhu on 23 September 2010, 21:19 3.0

Tags: Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition, Phenom II X6 1075T, AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaz6t

Add to My Vault: x

Attacking Core i7 the AMD way

AMD bolstered its desktop CPU line-up earlier in the week. Head right over to here to see how the seven new chips slot into the company's arsenal. Picking through them, AMD introduces a new six-core Phenom II X6 chip, the 1075T, and an update on the quad-core Phenom II X4, the 970 Black Edition.

So how do they play out in the larger scheme of things? Let's haul out the ever-expanding table.

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+ 125W AM3 £130
Phenom II X4 970 BE 4/4 3.50 N/A 45nm (Deneb) 258mm² 758m 2MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,333+ 125W AM3 £145
Phenom II X6 1055T   6/6 2.80 3.30 45nm (Thuban) 346mm² 904m 3MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,600+ 95W
125W
AM3 £155
Phenom II X6 1075T  6/6 3.00 3.50 45nm (Thuban) 346mm² 904m 3MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,600+ 125W AM3 £189
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 £205
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 £145
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 £210
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 930 4/8 2.80 3.06 45nm (Bloomfield) 263mm² 731m 1MB L2
8MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £220
Core i7 950 4/8 3.06 3.33 45nm (Bloomfield) 263mm² 731m 1MB L2
8MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £235
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 £780

Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition


What we see is AMD populating a greater number of price-points than ever before, to the extent that £100-£200 has now been filled out with the introduction of two performance chips. What this tells us is that AMD is looking to pick-off certain Intel CPUs on a bang-for-buck basis. The first method of achieving this aim is based around increasing frequency. The quad-core Phenom II X4 range is therefore boosted by greater clockspeed; it receives a speed-bump from the incumbent 3.4GHz-clocked 965 BE to the 3.5GHz 970 BE.

Appreciating that the two chips' vital stats are identical in all other areas, it's logical to assume that AMD has increased the multiplier from 17x to 17.5x. Pushing up the multiplier makes sense as yields improve, and we're adamant that every 965 BE is able to run at 100MHz higher without the need to tinker with the voltages. Indeed, given the multiplier-unlocked nature of the Black Edition CPUs, the 970 BE is simply a rebranded 965 BE core with the default multiplier increased at the factory.

Phenom II X6 1075T

The second method of bolstering the line-up is to look for gaps in the current range and then plug them with an appropriate chip. This is what AMD is doing with the Phenom II X6 1075T - a chip that is ensconced between the two currently-available six-core CPUs. The processor keeps the 2.5x-multiplier Turbo Core jump (500MHz) present on the 1055T, rather than go with the conservative 2x jump on the range-topping 1090T. What this means is that the 1075T's potential maximum speed is pretty close to the 1090T's. AMD, however, plays the power-draw game safe and opts for a 125W rating.

Retailers pricing on the 1075T is such that it's uncomfortably close to the 1090T. In time we expect it to drop to around £175 or, crucially, comfortably below any of Intel's genuine performance offerings. The strategy here is disarmingly simple: release a slew of present-architecture CPUs that give the end user more choice, then wait for the next architecture, Bulldozer, to come along before making wholesale changes.