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AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition CPU review

by Tarinder Sandhu on 8 December 2010, 09:21 4.0

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD)

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Dragging more from K10

AMD's next-generation desktop CPU architecture is known as the Bulldozer core. It won't be available to consumers for a while yet. AMD, though, wants to give enthusiasts an early Christmas present by launching a new chip based on incumbent Phenom II X6 technology.

Looking to put just a little more pressure on Intel's mid-range CPUs, AMD is releasing the Phenom II X6 1100T - a drop-in replacement for the current range-topping 1090T. Here's how it stacks up against some tasty competition.

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 970 BE 4/4 3.50 N/A 45nm (Deneb) 258mm² 758m 2MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,333+ 125W AM3 £146
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 £149
£135
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 £157
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 £184
Phenom II X6 1100T 6/6 3.30 3.70 45nm (Thuban) 346mm² 904m 3MB L2
6MB L3
HT Dual-channel DDR3-1,600+ 125W AM3 £199?
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 £161
Core i5 760 4/4 2.80 3.33 45nm (Lynnfield) 296mm² 774m 1MB L2
8MB L3
DMI Dual-channel DDR3-1,333 95W LGA1156 £140
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 £222
Core i7 930 4/8 2.80 3.06 45nm (Bloomfield) 263mm² 731m 1MB L2
8MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £211
Core i7 950 4/8 3.06 3.33 45nm (Bloomfield) 263mm² 731m 1MB L2
8MB L3
QPI Triple-channel DDR3-1066 130W LGA1366 £232
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 £727


Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition

The numbers show that AMD is simply increasing the multiplier on the Phenom II X6 chips from 16x on the 1090T to 16.5x on the 'new' 1100T BE. This clock-bump is an obvious move when yields at the manufacturing plant improve, and we feel certain that practically all 'Thuban' cores can run at the 3.3GHz frequency with a little coaxing to the core voltage.

AMD sensibly goes for the largest possible yield return by keeping a 125W TDP; a 95W model clocked in at 3.3GHz would have been deliciously impressive. The bump in core speed is accompanied by a similar bump in Turbo CORE frequency, which now tops out at 3.7GHz, instead of 3.6GHz.

Why?

Folk who already own the 1090T BE needn't bother with the new chip at all, because they can replicate it by spending 30 seconds in the BIOS and bumping up the multiplier. It is our opinion that AMD wants to fend off the three high-performing Intel chips with similar prices: Core i7 870, Core i7 930, and Core i7 950.

Yup, another AMD chip based on the AM3 form factor. The one benefit of persisting with a single processor architecture for several years is the compatibility it provides. The 1100T BE will slip straight into any AM2/AM2+/AM3 board and in older boards work just fine with DDR2 memory, albeit without some of the more-granular power management available with AM3 models.

Equipped with a 3.3GHz base clock, the chip ramps up to 3.7GHz when three, or fewer, cores are used by the operating system and application. Pricing of the chip is likely to be around £199, according to AMD, meaning it undercuts the main Intel rivals - until the chip giant decides to axe 1,000-unit pricing again.

First-page summary

The AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE is a six-core, six-threaded CPU that improves on the 1090T by being specified with a slightly higher core clock of 3.3GHz.