Last month during the Consumer Electronics Show, AMD announced their new 45nm desktop processors with the launch of the Phenom II series. The series consisted of Phenom II X4 940 and Phenom II X4 920 processors. In our review of the Phenom II X4 940 processor we saw that the new 45nm processors looked much improved from both a performance and overclocking stand point. AMD cannot pose a threat to the Intel Core i7 processor series with Phenom II, but they can compete with them when it comes to the price of the processor and the overall final price of the platform in its entirety.
AMD is announcing five new Socket AM3 processors that many enthusiasts have been waiting months for. These processors are based off the same 45nm ‘Deneb’ core that the previous Phenom II processors use, but with a few tweaks and a new memory controller. This new memory controller allows the processor to run both DDR2 and DDR3 memory kits, which is good news for AMD as up to a 5% performance boost can be seen when running DDR3 memory on Phenom II processors. What is even better news is that AM3 processors are 100% backwards compatible with motherboards using AM2+ sockets, which means you do not have to run out and buy a brand new Socket AM3 motherboard and a DDR3 memory kit to upgrade to one of these processors.
Right about know you are more than likely thinking that other than a memory controller change not much else happened. AMD actually made a package change and removed two of the 940 pins that are found on Socket AM2 and AM2+ processors, so the new Socket AM3 processors have just 938 pins! So, if you want to invest in an AMD processor that supports DDR3 memory to give you an upgrade path down the road you can breathe a sigh of relief as AMD officially announced the immediate availability of the following five new AM3-packaged Phenom II processors:
Today, we will be looking at the Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor and the Phenom II X4 810 processor. The Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition processor is said to have the most potential since it is an unlocked black edition processor that retails for under $145. Let’s take a closer look at these two processors before jumping into the benchmarks!