AMD Phenom X3 8750 review -
3 - Layout, Socket, Overclocking
With the arrival of Phenom X3 AMD now has a pretty extensive line of mainstream Phenom processors, both Phenom X4 and X3 processors are available in a mixture of B3 and B2 cores. Here is a chart that should get you a better overview of the assorted Phenom and Phenom X4/X3 models, using their clock/HT speeds, TDP, and pricing:
|Processor||Core Clock||HT Speed||TDP||Price|
|Phenom X3 8400 OEM||2.1 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||n/a|
|Phenom X3 8600 OEM||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||n/a|
|Phenom X3 8450||2.1 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$145|
|Phenom X3 8650||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$165|
|Phenom X3 8750||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$195|
|Phenom X4 9100e OEM||1.8 GHz||1.6 GHz||65W||n/a|
|Phenom 9500||2.2 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$200|
|Phenom X4 9550||2.2 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$195|
|Phenom 9600||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$225|
|Phenom 9600 BE||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||$240|
|Phenom X4 9650 OEM||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||n/a|
|Phenom X4 9750 OEM||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W||n/a|
|Phenom X4 9750||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||125W||$215 1KU|
|Phenom X4 9850 BE||2.5 GHz||2.0 GHz||125W||$235 1KU|
|Phenom X4 9950||2.6 GHz||2.0 GHz||140W||TBA|
The new Phenom processors make use of socket AM2+, an improved socket design based on socket AM2. Luckily there's no added pin count. So a Phenom processors theoretically will work in an AM2 mainboard as well (BIOS update required). The difference however has to do with the integrated memory controller and voltage routing. Voltages for the cores and memory controllers can be set independently from each other on Socket AM2+, which in the end has everything to do with power consumption. With socket AM2+ you'll also be able to make use of DDR2-1066 MHz memory, while on socket AM2 you'll be limited towards 800 MHz. Last but not least the socket change was needed for HyperTransport bus 3.0. which supports speeds up-to 2.6 GHz.
Obviously we recommend you to use a Socket AM2+ based mainboard in combination with a Phenom processor to gain maximum performance out of it, as the AM2+ socket can also deliver more ampage to the processor. Also an interesting fact, future 45-nm AMD processors will work fine on this socket as well.
We already touched the subject a little. The 8750 Phenom processors has a TDP (peak wattage) of 95W. Now that's by itself interesting as it's not far off from the power consumption of a single dual-core processor. Don't forget that we have three active & independent cores here. And that's also where the golden nugget is to be found. Each core can be clocked down independently if not utilized, saving heaps of current. There's also a new status called C1E (check in the BIOS of your mainboard). If the processors are temporarily inactive, they can pretty much put themselves in sleep-mode (clocking down). Hyper Transport will power down and a low-power stage is activated on the memory. Good stuff in this more aware green world.
The Phenom X3 8750 processor is muliplier locked, actually we weren't even allowed to change the HT clock in software which hindered us in overclocking as our BIOS isn't one of the best to play around with either.
We think the AMD Overdrive software needs to be updated. We'll add some overclocking results in the future.
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