The end of the year is traditionally considered the best time to sum up the results, analyze the achievements of the past year and make plans for the new year to come. That is why with Christmas holidays approaching articles covering the overall market situation become especially acute. So, we were planning this article to kind of sum up in a single test session all the processors released in 2007, which has every right to be regarded as the beginning of quad-core era. Over the past year the prices on processor with four computational cores have dropped down to pretty acceptable levels thus increasing their popularity among computer enthusiasts very rapidly.
However, the main characters of our today’s article turned out new quad-core AMD processors from Phenom family, which very first models were announced on November 19, 2007 and which already start selling in computer stores. However, it is not their unprecedented consumer qualities that determined out specific interest to these processors today. The thing is that Phenom processors that were initially scheduled to be released about a year ago, seem to be AMD’s desperate attempt to regain the title of the high-performance processor maker that they had to give up under Intel’s devastating invasion with extremely successful CPUs on Core micro-architecture being offered for over a year and a half already.
Phenom’s success is almost a matter of life and death for AMD. The company’s financial situation has been aggravating lately, because their old K8 micro-architecture has turned almost completely uncompetitive. AMD expects their new processors based on improved K10 micro-architecture to improve the current situation in the market for them. But will they really succeed in turning things around? – This is the question our today’s article will try to answer for you.
Although almost a month has passed since AMD Phenom CPUs have been officially launched, it is only now that we got the chance to compare them fully against their direct competitors. The thing is that AMD didn’t send out their processor samples to reviewers having offered to replace traditional independent research with on-site test session in their own mobile lab set up specifically for the members of the press on the launch day. These are exactly the results you will find on majority of web-sites out there. We decided not to publish preliminary data like that and waited patiently for the chance to get our hands on the new solution for a complete and unbiased investigation.
Luckily, AMD helped us by providing an engineering sample of their Phenom processor, which will be the main hero of our today’s discussion. However, before we get into details on the actual benchmark results, we have to say a few words about all those innovations they introduced in the new processor family. Phenom processors boast not only different micro-architecture than their predecessors. AMD positions Phenom as a part of their new Spider platform that also includes new AMD 700 chipset series, and ATI Radeon HD 3800 graphics accelerator family.