AMD is getting back in the performance saddle...
Ever since misery struck AMD roughly a year ago, this company has been pushing really hard to get back on its feet.
Fighting off a stigma that their processors definitely do not deserve, followed by a global financial crisis. And what was the word that nobody ever had heard about, yet everybody got to know within weeks? That's right... TLB.
But good news people, in this article we won't go into the TLB bug. It's been a year, it's been fixed, it's in the past and AMD has moved on, and so should you. Ever since the B3 revision of Phenom processors hit the market last year, AMD slowly but steadily started gaining ground again. And that's difficult, because that stigma was haunting them. There was something else though. The last generation architecture hit a limit with the Phenom processors, 2.6 / 2.7 GHz was the maximum with the Barcelona architecture, limiting the processors to an Intel created mid-range field.
As much as Intel has a Tick-Tock strategy (release new architecture one year, spin-off product the following year), AMD put their development into 6th gear, decided to skip a beat and moved forward with their 45nm products. And that's where we are today. AMD today will release their Dragon infrastructure. An infrastructure that has a motherboard, graphics cards and a processor.
Today specifically we will focus on that new processor being launched today. The "Tock" product is in fact based off the Barcelona core, yet now manufactured at a much smaller fabrication processes; 45 nanometer, and has different caches. The result... their processors can now run at 3.0 GHz fairly easy, be cool and still have enough headroom for a nice tweak or two. Pretty significant, pretty interesting.
Therefore, let me introduce to you: AMD Phenom II.
In the coming weeks and months you will see new products based off that Phenom II processor line we are reviewing today. As of today these products will be available in the stores. The products being:
- AMD Phenom II X4 920 at $236 (2.8 GHz)
- AMD Phenom II X4 940 at $278 (3.0 GHz)
Our primary focus today will be these two processors, which are launched at pretty spectacular prices; especially when you notice how much performance they bring to the table. AMD made a big step forward with the release of Phenom II and we wanted to make sure to show you exactly that with a large amount of benchmarks, but obviously also performance tests with games as this processor might be a really good sweet spot for high-end graphics cards.
So let's get started. Next page please.