AMD launch 45nm Phenom II processor

Thursday 08th January 2009, 06:17:00 PM, written by Rys

AMD have taken the wraps off their 45nm Phenom II processor in the last day or so, to mostly positive reviews when analysed properly.

Analysis at the usual suspects has focused on performance relative to Intel's existing Core 2 Quad range at 45nm, indicating that everyone, including AMD, acknowledges that Core i7 is some stretch away from everything else right now.

Comparison to 45nm Core 2 Quad is favourable in the main, with per-clock performance similar thanks to some micro architecture tweaks and caches.  The native quad-core design ships with 6MiB of L3 now, and was launched at 3GHz in Phenom II Black Edition form.

The Black Edition has unlocked multipliers, and reviewers have used that capability to stretch the chip's legs with overclocks in the mid 3GHz range with ease.

The chip drops in to existing AM2 and AM2+ sockets, with the AM3 DDR3-sporting variant waiting in the wings.  It's still a dual-channel memory controller, and no new x86 and x86-64 capabilities have surfaced, as expected.

The Tech Report notes that the two launched Phenom II processors are attractive for those already invested in the sockets it supports, given the prices -- only $275 for the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition, with the 2.8GHz Phenom II X4 920 not far behind at $235.

For those looking across from Intel land, or up from Socket 939 on the AMD side, Intel's processors are what have market traction and arguably better mainboard choices, but from our perspective it seems to be swings and roundabouts in the price space the chips occupy.

All depends on the money you have to spend, really.  AMD are pitching the chips as a platform proposition in the main, and would love for you to pair them with 790 core logic and Radeon 4800-series graphics products, creating what they are calling Dragon.  The combination isn't bad at all, excluding the fact that Core i7 is a gaming monster and blows everything away right now with its single- and multi-threaded performance.

It's good to see AMD on 45nm with MPU manufacture finally, and hopefully they're making good margin at $235 and $275, so they put some money in the bank off the back of the significant investment.

We also wonder how much faster Phenom II will get with AM3 and DDR3, as 2009 progresses.  Nice chips, but Core i7 swaggers around beating its chest still, with zero competition at home from Core 2 or away with Phenom.

Check out The Tech Report's analysis for a closer look at the details, including a good look at power consumption and overclocking.  Geoff at TR has just finished a nice review of a 790GX-based mainboard that supports the chips, too.
Discuss on the forums


amd ± phenom, ii, 940, X4, black, edition

Related amd News

RWT Analyzes Bulldozer Benchmarks
AMD Bulldozer microarchitecture analysis
AMD completes deal with ATIC to create The Foundry Company
AMD Propus to be released in Q2 & Q3
AMD goes Asset Smart; splits into two
Beyond Programmable Shading course notes available
AMD launches FireStream 9250 with 200Gflops DP via RV770
AMD GPGPU solutions get extra support from industry partners
AMD Phenom X3 released; reviewed