Let’s lay the cards out on the table. At this time AMD Phenom II desktop processors just don’t compete with the second generation Intel Core i processors out there today. With that being said, they are still great products! I am still running an AMD Phenom II 940 Black Edition in one of my machines, and it’s a great machine; I just spent some time gaming on it the other night.
For the most part it seems that there are two types of folks out there. There are those that are die hard Intel and will use nothing but, and then you have the AMD die hards. Is either party right? Who cares! When picking out a processor for a system, it comes down to what kind of budget you have. If you are looking for the fastest machine and budget isn’t an issue, then it’s likely you will be looking at an Intel machine. If you are looking to get the best bang for your buck, then you definitely want to look at an AMD machine. I have heard it said time and time again that you get 80% of the performance of Intel for 60% of the price! I would easily have to agree with that!
While the AMD Phenom II X4 980 wasn’t the fastest processor that we had on our bench today, it did everything we asked it to without hesitation and did it well. AMD has taken the ‘Deneb’ core architecture and stretched it out as far as they could. We wouldn’t be shocked if the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition isn’t the very last speed bump for this generation of processors. This core was well designed as we showed you that the 980 BE was able to hit 4.5GHz in our overclocking section, which was a clock frequency that we could reach on the very first Deneb revisions back in 2009. AMD has made hundreds, if not thousands, of small process changes over the years, so this revision RB-C3 stepping 3 processor is very well refined. A quick look at the power consumption chart shows that this platform uses less power at idle than the second generation Intel Core i5-2500K ‘Sandy Bridge’ processor and that is pretty amazing when you think about it.
When it comes to pricing the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition processor costs $185, which ten dollars less than what the AMD Phenom II 975 Black Edition processor was being sold at. AMD is basically giving you a 100MHz speed bump for free if you think about it. The good news for everyone is that pre-existing AMD Phenom II X4 900-series processors will each be given a price decrease as a result of this processor coming to market. AMD processors are pretty competitive with Intel, so you really can’t complain about pricing. All AMD retail boxed processors come with a CPU cooler and are backed by a 3-year warranty.
Legit Bottom Line: The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Processor features the highest clock speed of any that AMD has released, but it’s on core architecture that is over two years old and it shows in the benchmarks. It gets the job done, but is clearly pushing the limits of what AMD can expect from Deneb.