The introduction of 45 nm manufacturing process allowed AMD to increase the clock speeds of their processors very rapidly. The top Phenom II X4 CPU works at 3.4 GHz frequency and it is even higher than the maximum clock speed of the top desktop Intel processors. However, clock frequency is no longer of the same significance as it used to be before. That is why Phenom II X4 CPUs working at such high speeds yields quite noticeably to Intel processors from the high price range. Partially the blame is on not the most progressive Stars (K10) microarchitecture used in AMD products. As we have already shown in our previous reviews, the clock frequencies of contemporary Phenom II processors should be way higher than where they are right now in order for them to compete successfully against Intel Nehalem CPUs. However, this is almost impossible and the recently announced Phenom II X4 965 processor with 3.4 GHz clock frequency and 140 W maximum TDP (which is extremely high for desktop CPUs) proves it. Having analyzed the specifications of this processor we concluded that this model will remain the fastest Phenom II solution until principally new cores come into play.
AMD, however, doesn’t feel like giving in yet. They believe that Stars (K10) microarchitecture and 45 nm manufacturing technology still have some potential. Today the company is launching the refreshed Phenom II X4 965 with 15 W lower maximum TDP of 125 W, which is more acceptable from the consumer standpoint. They managed to accomplish that due to the new Deneb processor stepping with improved thermal and electrical specifications and a number of other enhancements. Our today’s review will be devoted to this particular new Phenom II X4 965 processor.