AMD Phenom X4 9950 BE processor tested
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 10/02/2008 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition
AMD has launched the Phenom X4 9x50-series of processors, these sport the updated B3 core, and no longer include the infamous TLB bug. The new Phenom processor family on B3 stepping includes four models: 9550, 9650, 9750, 9850 and 9950 Black Edition. AMD also officially announced their triple-core processors known as Toliman which we recently reviewed.
The leading flagship processor currently is the Phenom X4 9950 BE which runs at a 2.6 GHz clock frequency at a full 2.0 GHz HT 3.0 speed at a 1.2-1.3V voltage and 140W TDP. This part is using AMD's 65nm Silicon on Insulator process technology (it's expected that AMD will make the move to 45nm silicon later this year). The voltage on the Phenom X4 9950 is listed as 1.05-1.30 Volts, which is fascinating as the Phenom X4 9850 was 1.2-1.3 Volts.
This is today's tested Phenom X4 9950 and 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 gives the four cores a total of 4MB of cache (that's excluding a little L1 cache). The die size of the CPU is 285 mm² and for whatever reason we always like to know the CPU has 450 million transistors. The processors are manufactured in AMD's Dresden plant and make use of AMD's 65 nm SOI-fabrication.
Next to the new architecture we also notice a few new enhancements and instruction sets. 128-bit SSE per clock cycle, a new instruction set under SSE4A. The chips also come with an integrated dual-channel/128-bit DDR2 memory controller and support speeds up to the DDR2-1066 specification. The processor package remains unchanged, and features the 940-pin AM2+ design, which is fully backward-compatible with the AM2 socket.
Mind you that this "Black Edition" release, the newest Phenom X4 has an unlocked multiplier, which is more interesting for tweakers. Some examples on how AMD divides and conquers: the Phenom X4 9750 runs at 2.4 GHz with a 1.8 GHz HT speed, and a TDP of 125W, while the Phenom X4 9550 replaces the Phenom 9500 at a 2.2 GHz core, 1.8 GHz HT, and a 95W TDP.
The Phenom X4 9950 thus runs at 2.6 GHz with a 2.0 GHz HT speed, and a TDP of 140W.
|Processor||Core Clock||HT Speed||TDP|
|Phenom X3 8250e||1.9 GHz||1.8 GHz||65W|
|Phenom X3 8400 OEM||2.1 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X3 8600 OEM||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X3 8450||2.1 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X3 8450e||2.1 GHz||1.8 GHz||65W|
|Phenom X3 8650||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X3 8750||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X3 8750 BE||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X4 9100e OEM||1.8 GHz||1.6 GHz||65W|
|Phenom 9500||2.2 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X4 9550||2.2 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom 9600||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom 9600 BE||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X4 9650 OEM||2.3 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X4 9750 OEM||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||95W|
|Phenom X4 9750||2.4 GHz||1.8 GHz||125W|
|Phenom X4 9850 BE||2.5 GHz||2.0 GHz||125W|
|Phenom X4 9950||2.6 GHz||2.0 GHz||140W|
But 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.
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 theoretically a Phenom processor 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 amperage 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 9950 Phenom processors has an increased TDP (peak wattage) from the last flasgship product, Phenom X4 9850, 125W towards 140W.
luckily we should not forget that we have four active & independent cores here. 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). 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. As a result we notice our test platform peak out at 223 Watts power consumption when we stress the 4 CPU cores, yet idles merely at 114 Watts. We'll show you some more numbers in our benchmark sessions.
We test three AMD processors today, the Phenom II X6 1075T, Phenom II X4 970BE and Athlon II X4 645. They are part of the AMD Q4 processor product line update, arming their processor lineup with more value and higher performing CPUs.
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.