Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday announced its new AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition microprocessor designed specifically for gamers and overclockers and which performance can be customized using AMD’s OverDrive utility directly from Microsoft Windows operating system.
Quad-core AMD Phenom processor 9600 Black Edition will operate at 2.30GHz clock-speed, 2MB shared L3 cache and 512KB dedicated L2 cache per core and will have support for dual-channel PC2-8500 (DDR2 1066MHz), just like the typical AMD Phenom 9600 chip. However, the Black Edition processor has unlocked clock multiplier, which allows enthusiasts to clock the new chip higher than 2.30GHz without any issues that are associated with overclocking.
The customizable clock multiplier and auto-adjustable memory frequency of the new chip enables amateurs and value-conscious enthusiasts to maximize the performance of their desktop computers without substantial hassles. Typically enthusiasts have to increase base HyperTransport bus speed from default 200MHz, which eventually causes not only CPU clock-speed boost, but also alters HT bus and memory frequency, meaning that other components apart from the microprocessor also should be able to handle increased speeds. Previously customizable clock multiplier were only available on high-end AMD Athlon 64 FX processors that used to retail for as much as $1000 per chip.
The newest Black Edition processor from AMD enables customizable platform performance with AMD OverDrive software, a comprehensive Windows-based performance tuning utility. Previously AMD Athlon 64 X2 Black Edition chips could only be overclocked using BIOS settings of a mainboard, which might not be convenient enough for some end-users. Nevertheless, AMD stressed that it is not responsible for damages caused by overclocking even when overclocking is enabled with AMD OverDrive.
According to a statement by AMD, the AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition central processing unit has the same price as previously introduced AMD Phenom 9600, or $283 in 1000-unit quantities.