As stated in our introduction, a name you'll hear quite a lot this week is "Dragon". When AMD launched the Phenom processors, they did so under codename "Spider". Spider entailed the AMD 780 chipset, Radeon series 3000/4000 and obviously the B3 generation Phenom processors.
Spiders in the end get squashed or tangled in their own webs, and today we'll see if that will happen, making the Spider platform obolete that is. Codename Dragon is the infrastructure that is the AMD 790GX/FX chipset, Radeon 4000 series graphics cards and thus the new Phenom II series processors. AMD will release it under the motto "state of the art technology and performance, without breaking the bank".
Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H with a Phenom II X4 940 processor seated
The Phenom II processors
Today is all about the two processors being released. AMD made a move to their all new 45nm node to manufacture the Phenom II processors. What does that mean? When you look at this from a distance it pretty much means that they were able to make this processor smaller compared to the last gen products. And that has advantages, often to be found in lower voltages and higher clock frequencies. Next to that, with technology updates like these they also fix the smaller bugs the last-gen products had. ANY processors has small bugs.
To understand Phenom II, let's look at a last-gen Phenom processor.
The current Phenom X4 processor family on B3 stepping includes models like: 9550, 9650, 9750, 9850 and 9950 (Black Editions). AMD also introduced without much success I must say, their triple-core processors known as Toliman which we recently reviewed. People just simply will not buy the processor based on a stigma ... three cores sound weird, plain and simple.
So the previously leading flagship processor was the Phenom X4 9950 BE which runs at a 2.6 GHz clock frequency at a full 2.0 GHz HT 3.0 speed with a 1.2-1.3V voltage and 140W TDP.
This part is based on AMD's 65nm Silicon on Insulator process technology. The voltage on the Phenom X4 9950 is listed as 1.05-1.30 Volts, and the lower specced Phenom X4 9850 and slower CPUs were at 1.2-1.3 Volts. Phenom X4 9950 features a total 2MB L2 cache; 512KB per core. This Phenom X4 can address 2MB L3 cache as buffer where it can also exchange data in-between the cores.
So that gave the four cores a total of 4MB of cache (that's excluding a little L1 cache). The die size of that CPU is 285 mm² and for whatever reason we always like to know the CPU has 450 million transistors.
And now Phenom II ....
The new flagship product will be the Phenom II X4 940, this processor will run at 3.0 GHz. The Phenom 920 will run at a respectable 2.8 GHz at a full 2.0 GHz HT 3.0 speed at a 0.875 to -1.5V voltage and has a 125W TDP (peak wattage).
The Phenom II parts as explain are based on AMD's 45nm Silicon on Insulator process technology. Phenom II X4 940 and 920 features a total 2MB L2 cache; 512KB per core. A big change is the increase in L3 cache. Phenom II can address 6MB L3 cache shared among cores as buffer. So is can exchange data in-between the four logical cores.
AMD Phenom X4 945 and 955BE processor review|test Today AMD is releasing two processors in the Phenom II line-up, the Phenom II 955BE and the Phenom II X4 945 processor. Both processors can be considered and positioned in AMDs high-end segment, yet will be priced friendly. Yields are good, clock frequencies go up, performance goes up. And that's nice as the Phenom II series processors offer great performance for the money you have to lay down on the table. AMD Phenom series processors are slowly ripening, and are aging like fine wine (they get even better over time). Guru3D brings you an in-depth performance review and architectural overview on both these processors. Oh yea .. and we'll overclock the living daylights out of it as well.
AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720BE review (AM3) A test on AMD Phenom II X4 810 and X3 720BE review socket AM3 processors. Socket AM3 Phenom II processors. Processors that are pretty much the same as the Socket AM2+ processors yet now with a DDR3 memory controller. DDR3 memory will allow the overall performance of the platform (your PC) to gain again a little in speed. Over the next few pages we'll tell you all about these new processors, their specifications and of course will check out performance.
AMD Phenom II X4 920 and 940 review test AMD Phenom II 940 and 920 test. AMD releases the new Phenom II processors. Now manufactured at a much smaller fabrication processes, 45 nanometer, and has different amounts of cache. The result... their processors can now run at 3.0 GHz fairly easy, run cool and still have enough headroom for a nice tweak or two. Pretty significant, pretty interesting.