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Strictly speaking, the launch of the new Deneb processor stepping can hardly be considered a milestone event. As our tests showed, the new C3 stepping brought minor changes to the Phenom II X4 processors. Among them are: slight reduction in the power consumption and heat dissipation, about 200 MHz increase in the overclocking potential and higher stability in configurations with four memory modules. Therefore, we should mostly talk about a cosmetic refresh of the Deneb core and not about some radical progress. However, it is not so bad for AMD, who have already squeezed everything they could out of the old microarchitecture and 45 nm process. At least now the company and its fans can hope to soon see Phenom II CPUs with higher clock speeds than the current top of 3.4 GHz.

As for the new AMD Phenom II X4 965 processors on the new core stepping introduced today we can certainly recommend them to those computer enthusiasts that have good reasons to go with Socket AM2/AM3 platform. The CPUs with new processor stepping will definitely be better than their predecessors. However, it is important to remember that top quad-core AMD processors are currently a pretty weak offering against the background of their competitors. In fact, they can only compete against the old similarly priced LGA775 CPUs and only in terms of nominal mode performance.

In other words, the launch of the new Intel LGA1156 platform made it difficult for AMD to get not only into the upper but also into a significant part of the mainstream price segment. And no new processor stepping can change this state of things. Therefore, we can only expect AMD solutions to return to high-performance segment only when they move their upcoming CPUs on Bulldozer microarchitecture to mass production. Unfortunately, it can happen only in 2011 at best.

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