AMD has an approach that I like to see very much. That is try to stick as long as they can with a processor socket design. Therefore the good news is, if you have an AM2+ compatible motherboard (=940 pin), then you can pop in the new processor and you are good to go. Mind you though, and this is a very strong recommendation, upgrade your MBIOS (motherboard BIOS) for Phenom II compatibility. Typically this boils down to an AMD 780/790 chipset purchased last year. For AMD 780 chipsets, please do make sure your motherboard can handle the power requirements of the processor. Please check this with your motherboard manufacturer.
For Intel's Core i7 you need to purchase a 250+ USD motherboard and an enforced upgrade towards DDR3 memory. The trick here is that you can upgrade very easily and cheap, as all you need to do is make sure you have motherboard support and pop in that processor.
Two big thumbs up for AMD on that one.
What about Socket AM3 then? Despite all that nice compatibility, Socket AM3 is up and coming and is set for a release as soon as February 2009. So again: Socket AM3 based motherboards will be released quite soon as well. This Socket change is needed to achieve DDR3 memory support.
Today's processors reviewed are Socket AM2+ processors. Here's where things get a little tricky, try to follow me:
AMD AM3 processors will work on some AM2+ motherboards (780/790 chipset).
However, older AM2/AM2+ processors will not work on AM3 motherboards because AM2 processors lack a DDR3 memory controller.
Two extra pins (940 for AM2 vs 938 for AM3) makes the older chips mechanically incompatible with the new socket, preventing users from attempting to install an old chip in a new board.
So: a Phenom II processor will work in an AM2+ mainboard (BIOS update required). But if you want to go for DDR3, a migration towards an Socket AM3 motherboard is mandatory.
Once you do have a Socket AM3 motherboard, you'll get support for up-to DDR 1333 MHz memory. On socket AM2+ you'll, be able to make use of DDR2-1066 MHz memory, while on socket AM2 you'll be limited towards 800 MHz.
For now obviously, we recommend you use a Socket AM2+ based mainboard in combination with a Phenom II processor to gain maximum performance out of it. Yet in the near future AM3 is recommended as that DDR3 memory can bring you a little extra performance, and prices definitely have gone down lately.
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.