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Advanced Micro Devices, the worlds’ second largest designer of x86 central processing units (CPUs), on Thursday officially revealed its much-discussed AMD Phenom II X4 965 microprocessor. Although the new chip is the highest-performance CPU in AMD’s arsenal, it does not bring dramatic performance improvement over predecessor and hence cannot compete head-to-head with Intel’s top offerings.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Processor is clocked at 3.40GHz, features 2MB L2 cache (512KB per core), 6MB L3 unified cache, integrated dual-channel DDR2/DDR3 memory controller and supports all the latest technologies found in AMD processors. The chip comes in AM3 form-factor and is drop in compatible with both AM3 and AM2+ platforms that support 125W – 140W thermal design power. The new model 965 BE is a part of AMD Dragon platform aimed at gamers and other performance-demanding users.

Considering the fact that AMD Phenom II X4 965’s TDP has increased to 140W, it is highly likely that this will either be the top-of-the-range quad-core chip from AMD made using 45nm fabrication process ever made, or AMD plans to introduce a new stepping for its Deneb core.

Even though AMD increased clock-speeds of the Phenom II X4 965 BE, the novelty still cannot beat Intel Core i7 microprocessors. As a result, those, who choose to install the model 965 BE, are likely to take advantage of overclocking capabilities of the CPU.

“As we have seen during our tests, the new Phenom II X4 965 working at 3.4 GHz frequency is pretty much as fast as Core 2 Quad Q9550 at 2.83 GHz nominal speed and fall behind Core i7-920 with even lower nominal frequency of 2.66 GHz,” the review of the chip by X-bit labs reads. 

AMD’s the Black Edition processors have unlocked clock multiplier, which allows enthusiasts to clock the new chip higher than default frequncy 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.

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is available for a suggested system builder price of $245.

Tags: AMD, Phenom, Deneb, 45nm

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