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. It is hard to believe it has been five months since AMD announced the Phenom II X4 940 processor, but it has been. Late last month AMD announced the Phenom II 955 Black Edition processor, which is more than just a 200MHz speed bump as brings socket AM3 support to the very top of AMD’s desktop offerings.
This processor is 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.
With a clock frequency of 3.2GHz, the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition is the fastest clocked quad-core processor AMD has ever released. The best part of the Phenom II X4 955 is that is can be purchased for just $245 shipped. Based on pricing alone, the Phenom II X4 955 could be best compared to the $264 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz processor.
If you enable AMD Cool’n’Quiet the processor will automatically reduce it’s internal multiplier down to x4 and lower the core voltage for power savings. At just 800MHz and less than a Volt of power running to the processor it becomes a more energy efficient platform.
|CPU Name||Cores||Clock||L2/L3 Cache||HT Bus||Socket||TDP||Price|
|AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE||4||3.2GHz||2+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||125W||$245|
|AMD Phenom II X4 945||4||3.0GHz||2+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||125W||$225|
|AMD Phenom II X4 940||4||3.0GHz||2+6MB||3600MHz||AM2+||125W||$189|
|AMD Phenom II X4 920||4||2.8GHz||2+6MB||3600MHz||AM2+||125W||$171|
|AMD Phenom II X4 810||4||2.6GHz||2+4MB||4000MHz||AM3||95W||$187|
|AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE||3||2.8GHz||1.5+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||95W||$139|
|AMD Phenom II X3 710||3||2.6GHz||1.5+6MB||4000MHz||AM3||95W||$119|
The AMD Phenom II product stack is starting to look really good with prices starting out at $119 and rising up to $245. AMD clearly has budget friendly processors that have great features and clock frequencies. Let’s take a look at how the AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor does against a couple dozen other processors.