Back in June 2009, AMD silently launched a pair of energy efficient 65W TDP processors that didn’t get that much attention from the press for some reason. Those two socket AM3 processors are called the AMD Phenom II X3 705e and Phenom II X4 905e. They both feature 2.5GHz clock frequencies, 200MHz bus with a 2000MHz HT link and memory support for both DDR2 (up to 1,066 MT/s) and DDR3 (up to 1,333 MT/s). With specifications like this, these processors are ideal for an Home Theater Personal Computer (HTPC) and any other application where noise and heat are a concern.
The first of the energy efficient Phenom II processors would be the budget friendly Phenom II X3 705e, which can be purchased for a cool $129.99. This is a triple-core processor that uses the ‘Heka’ core and designed by GLOBALFOUNDARIES at Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany using the 45nm DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) process. The processor runs at a very low 0.825V-1.25v for normal operation and has an overall clock frequency of 2.5GHz. The processor is multiplier locked with a 12.5x multiplier as it is NOT a Black Edition processor. If you want to overclock this processor you’ll have to do that by increasing the 200MHz base clock. The CPUs HT link is set to 2000MHz and features the full cache levels, which are 512KB of L2 per core and 6mb of L3. Featuring a 65W TDP means that the Phenom II X3 705e processor at 2.5GHz has a TDP that is 30W lower than that of the AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor at 2.8GHz.
Taking a closer look at the Phenom II X4 905e processor with CPU-Z 1.52.1 you can see that this is a quad-core processor based off the ‘Deneb’ core, but the clock frequency and multiplier remain the same. Basically, this processor has all the same features that the Phenom II X3 705e processor has with the addition of the extra core. This processor is ideal for those that are using multi-threaded applications for CPU intensive tasks as four cores will obviously run faster than one even though each core has less shared L3 Cache.
|CPU Name||Cores||Clock||L2/L3 Cache||HT Bus||Socket||TDP||Price|
|AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE||4||3.4GHz||2+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||140W||$245|
|AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE||4||3.2GHz||2+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||125W||$210|
|AMD Phenom II X4 945||4||3.0GHz||2+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||125W||$187|
|AMD Phenom II X4 940||4||3.0GHz||2+6MB||3600MHz||AM2+||125W||$196|
|AMD Phenom II X4 920||4||2.8GHz||2+6MB||3600MHz||AM2+||125W||$160|
|AMD Phenom II X4 905e||4||2.5GHz||2+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||65W||$201|
|AMD Phenom II X4 810||4||2.6GHz||2+4MB||4000MHz||AM3||95W||$181|
|AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE||3||2.8GHz||1.5+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||95W||$130|
|AMD Phenom II X3 710||3||2.6GHz||1.5+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||95W||$99|
|AMD Phenom II X3 705e||3||2.5GHz||1.5+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||65W||$130|
|AMD Phenom II X2 550||2||3.1GHz||1+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||80W||$103|
|AMD Athlon II X2 250||2||3.0GHz||2MB||4000MHz||AM3||65W||$76|
The AMD Phenom II and Athlon II product stack is strong as usual with prices starting out at just $76 for the AMD Athlon II X2 250 and rising up to $245 for the Phenom II X4 965 BE. The AMD Phenom II X4 905e and Phenom II X3 705e come at a price premium since they are energy efficient parts. Based off current pricing, it would appear that the AMD Phenom II X4 905e and Phenom II X3 705e cost roughly $30-$40 more than a standard efficiency processor that has a slightly higher clock frequency. That means you’ll be paying more and getting less processing power, but on the flip side you’ll get a lower electric bill and lower temperatures. If you are wanting to build a silent system of a HTPC, this decrease in clock frequency and the extra price is more than worth it in order to have a silent computer.