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Tom's: Phenom Fails Most AM2 Compatibility Tests

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December 26, 2007 3:43:15 PM

Conclusion: http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/26/phenom_motherboa...
From the begining: http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/26/phenom_motherboa...

Quote:
I don't really like the conclusion and AMD won't like it either, but the upgrade situation for users interested in replacing their Athlon 64 X2 processor with a quad core Phenom is all but promising. We looked at ten different motherboards to check how well these would work with the new Phenom quad core processor. The vast majority, eight out of ten motherboards, did not work with Phenom at all, which I found a very frustrating result. Yes, Phenom has only been available for roughly one month, and AMD is busy bug-fixing the TLB issue, which certainly came at a difficult moment. However, not being able to run the new processor on existing platforms, as promised by AMD, is both disappointing for those users still interested in using a quad core Phenom processor right away, as well as for AMD, who critically depends on selling its new product.

This result is independent from the chipset used, or from the price category or market segments the motherboards were in. Only Asus and Gigabyte were quick enough to provide a BIOS update, which officially declares Phenom support. However, Gigabyte only provides the update for a mainstream product, but not for the enthusiast model we also looked at. To make things worse, the Gigabyte Phenom update for the mainstream motherboard did not work - at least it doesn't on the 0.2 pre-release sample we had at our disposal for this test.

Motherboard makers such as Biostar or Epox haven't followed up with BIOS versions for their products for some months; others such as Foxconn or MSI simply have not yet released updated BIOS versions with Phenom support. The successful Phenom upgrade on the two Asus motherboard leaves no doubt that even older socket AM2 products are capable of running the quad core Phenom. In the end, the matter of supporting the new processor comes down to time to market from a support standpoint. It's difficult to say if it is AMD who could have done more to facilitate BIOS updates, and if the TLB bug had an influence on BIOS releases. It is likely that some motherboard makers prefer to wait with releasing Phenom enabling BIOS updates until the workaround can be implemented.

Eventually, the reasons for the lack of Phenom support are secondary. Looking at the results and BIOS resources available on the web, we cannot recommend to upgrade existing socket AM2 systems from Athlon 64 X2 to Phenom right away. Our recommendation hence is simple: Keep your Athlon 64 X2 if you can and wait for the Phenom B3 stepping. Not only will it fix the TLB bug, but we expect most motherboard manufacturers to be ready with proper Phenom support by then.


So much for megatasking platformance.


"Seamless upgrade path." LOL
December 26, 2007 3:48:16 PM

I've just adresed this in the Penryns In Trouble thread. This is no longer funny. AMD's continued incompetence could have some lasting and signifcant efects on the world's technology and economy.
December 26, 2007 3:51:00 PM

The state of K10 is rather bleak. I suspect that AMD didn't have their stuff together in time for mobo manufactures to make timely and reliable updates.

Tom's agrees with me, don't even consider Phenom until B3.
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December 26, 2007 3:51:54 PM

This is really bad. I thaught from what i have read so far that at least half the mobos would support it. I can't wait to see people like baron put his positive AMD spin on this one. Hopefull in the next month or so more of those mobos will have bios updates to support the phenom.
December 26, 2007 3:54:15 PM

Wow... thats all I can say... Wow as in... bummer. :oops: 
December 26, 2007 3:54:44 PM

To be fair, I had to get a BIOS upgrade when I upgraded the Pentium-4 in my system for a faster model; though I've no idea whether it was available at the time the new CPU was released, or as delayed as the Phenom BIOS upgrades appear to be.
December 26, 2007 4:00:19 PM

Actually maybe the mobo makers are making 790 based chipset and want everyone to buy new mobos for more profit!
December 26, 2007 4:03:28 PM

someguy7 said:
I can't wait to see people like baron put his positive AMD spin on this one.


"Phenom is supported only by boards that closely adhere to AMD's standards of InterPulchitrudeCommunication and it is enginered by design to not work on boards that restrict L3 caca on the HyperThyroid 3.0 mechanism to ensure maximum F***ed Side Bust throughput so that the user gets an optimum 'true quad core' experience."
December 26, 2007 4:20:08 PM

Now, now..
Let's not be rude. Just because all the AMDroids have been spouting how "cheap" Phenom was going to be because they wouldn't need a new motherboard. Heck, Intel is having better luck with mobo's supporting Penryn, even though it deliberately set the bar higher, and warned that the upgrade path would be more limited.

AMD is really starting to look like it's being run by the Keystone Kops and the Marx Brothers.
December 26, 2007 4:20:20 PM

"It was an Intel conspiracy! They paid off the motherboard manufacturers to delay AM2 Phenom support.

Intel evil.

AMD4life."

In 3.....2.....1....
December 26, 2007 4:22:01 PM

This year has been one disaster after another for AMD:
1) Phenom performs poorly compared to Intel (e.g. phenom 9900 vs Q6600), nowhere near AMD's 40% clock-for-clock claim
2) TLB errata -- not necessarily the bug itself, but the fact that decently clocked Phenoms won't be available for a while
3) Now this

I hope next year will be sunnier.
December 26, 2007 4:34:02 PM

READ BEFORE YOU POST: The title is a little misleading. It should read "AM2 Motherboards FAIL Phenom compatibility test". The motherboard manufacturers are taking their sweet merry time coming out with BIOS updates. Some of those BIOSes haven't been updated in over 9 months! AMD's only fault here is not FORCING these second rate manufacturers to get on the ball and get the updates out. As for Gigabyte and MSI, thats just a damn shame they haven't rolled out their new BIOSes. ASUS and DFI have great support as usual and thats why I only use those two companies. Gigabyte is a big disappointment though, seriously.

What this problem boils down to is the motherboard manufacturers not getting their act together on time. If ASUS and DFI (not mentioned in the article) can get their stuff together in time then the other mobo companies should have too, ESPECIALLY Gigabyte being as big as they are (once again I must reiterate how much of a disappointment they are to AMD). Also, BFELLOW is right, several of them have 790 based boards out at high prices that work just fine with Phenoms, so WTF motherboard companies?! AMD didn't completely drop the ball on this one, they got screwed by their shady, Chinese partners.
December 26, 2007 4:37:58 PM

wingless said:
READ BEFORE YOU POST: The title is a little misleading. It should read "AM2 Motherboards FAIL Phenom compatibility test". The motherboard manufacturers are taking their sweet merry time coming out with BIOS updates. Some of those BIOS's havent' been updated in over 9 months! AMD's only fault here is not FORCING these second rate manufacturers to get on the ball and get the updates out. As for Gigabyte and MSI, thats just a damn shame they haven't rolled out their new BIOSes. ASUS and DFI have great support as usual and thats why I only use those two companies. Gigabyte is a big disappointment though, seriously.

What this problem boils down to is the motherboard manufacturers not getting their act together on time. If ASUS and DFI (not mentioned int he article) can get their stuff together in time then the other mobo companies should have too, ESPECIALLY Gigabyte being as big as they are (once again I must reiterate how much of a disappointment they are to AMD). Also, BFELLOW is right, several of them have 790 based boards out at high prices that work just fine with Phenoms, so WTF motherboard companies?! AMD didn't completely drop the ball on this one, they got screwed by their shady, Chinese partners.


I wonder if AMD contributed ti the problem at all though. By not having their product ready and making many late changes? This launch seemed to have flown by the seat of its pants.

Remember, the motherboard manufactures did not promise and tout a seamless upgrade, AMD did.
December 26, 2007 4:37:59 PM

Is Epox even in business any more?
December 26, 2007 4:38:35 PM

DISCLAIMER: I own an Opteron 185 so I'm obviously a fan of AMD so no need to accuse me of that.

It will be hard as hell for them but as soon as Hector is out the door they'll have a better chance of pulling themselves out of this deep **** hole they are currently in. They were even smart enough to ditch low-k plans and go to an Intel-like high-k process for their 45nm, but we can only hope they make it at this point.
December 26, 2007 4:40:15 PM

wingless said:
DISCLAIMER: I own an Opteron 185 so I'm obviously a fan of AMD so no need to accuse me of that.


Opteron 175 here.

Socket 939 for the win!!!
December 26, 2007 4:41:24 PM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
I wonder if AMD contributed ti the problem at all though. By not having their product ready and making many late changes? This launch seemed to have flown by the seat of its pants.

Remember, the motherboard manufactures did not promise and tout a seamless upgrade, AMD did.


I'll give you that. I felt that way too but some of the companies like MSI and Gigabyte had working 790 boards right away when it was launched so they had to have some previous knowledge of what it took to make a Phenom supporting BIOS. It just seems like the companies are trying to milk the 790FX-cow dry, which makes sense when you factor GREED into the equation.

And yes, SOCKET 939 FTMFW4Lyfe!!! (Until Bulldozer or Nehalem...whichever floats my boat in 2008)
December 26, 2007 4:45:43 PM

wingless said:
It just seems like the companies are trying to milk the 790FX-cow dry, which makes sense when you factor GREED into the equation.

And yes, SOCKET 939 FTMFW4Lyfe!!! (Until Bulldozer or Nehalem...whichever floats my boat in 2008)


I see what you're saying. I guess we should take note of who updates their motherboards and buy accordingly :-)

I've been happy with the classic Asus A8N-SLI (S939).
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December 26, 2007 4:56:37 PM

All your post deserves MrsBytch as a response is DELETED.
December 26, 2007 5:01:42 PM

Quote:
Still beating that dead horse eh?...

I could very easily say the EXACT same thing about you. Atleast TC post's actual news. What do you do all day? whine about TC posting RELEVANT news?

Quote:
Frontrunner for poster boy of the year? Your gonna make it at this rate. I guess when you have no life, this is your life huh?
The bios updates havent been released obviously because of the TLB workaround, any intel fanboy could figure that out. B3 stepping will solve all the problems, so please find something else to do with your time. Oh and while your sitting at your pc all day with absolutely nothing to do besides troll THG with anti-AMD spam, maybe you should start praying that AMD pulls outta this like the rest of us should be. We 'ALL' need AMD badly.


Sorry to disappoint you, but even the AMD fanboys are mad about this. If the nforce5, and 6 series chipsets dont have upgrades yet... when do you think users who have nforce4 chipsets, like my self, are going to get a BIOS upgrade that supports phenom?

My last BIOS upgrade was in november. it "Fixed Sempron CPU temperature issue."
I am not happy.
December 26, 2007 5:02:49 PM

So basically we can't jump into conclusions atm. It's only been a month or so, and I'm sure most AMD fanboys won't buy Phenom till the B3 comes out. By then, much more motherboard companies will have their bios update ready after everything gets straightened out. This is what I want to believe.

Now this is not what I want to believe:
Most companies sees Phenom as a failure, or close to it, therefore they rather not waste the time to make a bios revison. Or perhaps they can't. Instead of hassling with the bios updates, they rather promote the sales of the 790 mobos, which is guaranteed to be able to run with Phenom. Maybe sell them in a bundle?

If the latter is true, the one main advantage that Phenom had is gone, making Phenom truly worthless. Looks like only time will tell.

Waiting games, huh...

EDIT: Just wondering but what happened to Muk?
December 26, 2007 5:07:11 PM

The thing is, AMD was touting phenom to be a super easy upgrade for EVERY existing AM2 owner. Even the new Intel chips are more compatible than this phenomenal piece of crap.
December 26, 2007 5:09:59 PM

Which shows that AMD plays dirty. Do you think they deserve what they're getting?
December 26, 2007 5:32:12 PM

Quote:
Still beating that dead horse eh? Frontrunner for poster boy of the year? Your gonna make it at this rate. I guess when you have no life, this is your life huh?
The bios updates havent been released obviously because of the TLB workaround, any intel fanboy could figure that out. B3 stepping will solve all the problems, so please find something else to do with your time. Oh and while your sitting at your pc all day with absolutely nothing to do besides troll THG with anti-AMD spam, maybe you should start praying that AMD pulls outta this like the rest of us should be. We 'ALL' need AMD badly.


I don't know why you're so interested in flame baiting me, but it won't work; I won't go to your level.

Like I've said before, if you're not interested in the topic, which happens to do with an article published on Tom's Hardware today, then don't read and don't reply. It's that simple.
December 26, 2007 5:38:32 PM

I actually liked the article.
The title was a little missleading, but I don't jump to conclutions just on a title or take any tittle too seriously.
After reading the article, it seems there isn't much wrong with the Phenom (except for performance, etc). Having it run in an Asus mobo shows Phenom CAN work. So it seems more focus needs to be on the motherboard makers than AMD. (Unless AMD does most of the work making chipset-CPU drivers). As Skittle said, touting a upgrade for evr existing AM2 owner is also a little missleading.
December 26, 2007 5:48:05 PM

skittle said:
The thing is, AMD was touting phenom to be a super easy upgrade for EVERY existing AM2 owner. Even the new Intel chips are more compatible than this phenomenal piece of crap.


I may be wrong, but I don't remember AMD touting a super easy upgrade to every existing AM2 owner, but that they qualified their claim as requiring that the AM2 had a BIOS upgrade. I stick the motherboard companies on this one. As someone else wrote, if ASUS and DFI could do it, they all should have been able to do it, if they cared that is. I never thought it was that good an idea anyway, seeing that the L3 cache was unusable on an AM2 board. I think that if someone really wanted to have a Phenom chip, they needed to buy a 790 board to use everything the Phenom chip offered.

December 26, 2007 5:48:18 PM

enewmen said:
As Skittle said, touting a upgrade for evr existing AM2 owner is also a little missleading.

Right but AMD never specified how long that's gonna take. 1years? 3years? 1000years? Who knows...
December 26, 2007 5:54:37 PM

enewmen said:
I actually liked the article.
The title was a little missleading, but I don't jump to conclutions just on a title or take any tittle too seriously.
After reading the article, it seems there isn't much wrong with the Phenom (except for performance, etc). Having it run in an Asus mobo shows Phenom CAN work. So it seems more focus needs to be on the motherboard makers than AMD. (Unless AMD does most of the work making chipset-CPU drivers). As Skittle said, touting a upgrade for evr existing AM2 owner is also a little missleading.



In reality this article takes the incompetence of Toms Hardware to a new level, they took Motherboards most of which have no declared BIOS upgrade for the Phenom and found what? That the CPU did not indeed work on the Motherboard that did not support it. Wow.....

On some of they have stated that they know it wasn't supported but Toms Hardware thinks it should be.... amazingly it still did not work regardless of what they thought.

The boards that have issued a supported BIOS do in fact support the CPU. Stunning..... perhaps the Author should also write a column on single digit integer math, it would be great to see what he could come up with.

December 26, 2007 5:55:54 PM

Remember a year ago when many people were saying that K10 was goign to obliterate the Core 2 Duo? And how we went all summer long w/out any leaked info on the K10 and it was because it was going to be so great? I remember that, and it makes me laugh a little.

But seriously, AMD needs to do something here. They're fixing to go down hard.
December 26, 2007 6:01:25 PM

The title of the article is misleading and incinuates the blame lies with AMD. However, it is ultimately a manufacurer's decision whether or not to release a BIOS update to support a new line of processors.

Its kind of like blaming Microsoft because a laptop manny doesn't release Vista divers for a 2 year old laptop...

It is not AMD's fault if a motherboard manufacturer chooses not to release a BIOS update to support Phenom... and sometimes it isn't necessarily the manufacturer's fault that they don't want to release BIOS updates for products that are close to, or over a year, old. The article makes a good point though, and one I am curious about. Why the lack of high end support? My rig had an Abit Fatal1ty that cost me over $200, and when I asked Abit if they were going to support Phenom on it, they pretty much told me to get bent. But the $70 Gigabyte board I put in my g/f's rig does... It boggles my mind... and kinda pisses me off at the same time that many manufacturers are releasing Phenom support for their low to mid range products... but the high-end is getting the shaft. I guess they figure out disposable income is such that we should be going out and buying a new mobo anyway since we are "high end".

Come to think of it.... I suppose that way of thinking is correct. For the budget consumers who don't want to (or don't have the money to) get a new mobo... it makes sense to cater to these people. However, with the high end... shouldn't HT3, PCIe2, and DDR2-1066 matter to us anyway?
December 26, 2007 6:03:03 PM

Quote:
Still beating that dead horse eh? Frontrunner for poster boy of the year? Your gonna make it at this rate. I guess when you have no life, this is your life huh?


Every post you make has to do with someone "getting a life", maybe you should follow your own criticisms and get one yourself.

Oh wait for it, wait for it...

Get a life. said:
Get a life.


:pfff: 
December 26, 2007 6:03:56 PM



It gets really funny at 7:00





I love how their 3ghz Phenom rig has 8 fans.
December 26, 2007 6:05:58 PM

As a side note, I would've like to have seen THG attempt to contact the mannys of the boards in the article to see if they ever have plans to support Phenom on those boards. Just because a BIOS update doesn't exist right now doesn't mean they will never come out with one. Getting some final say from the mannys would've enhanced the article's substance a bit.

The Abit mobo I mentioned above, when I sent an email asking if a BIOS update would be released... they were blunt (but honest) about it. They simply stated that they have no plans to support Phenom on the Fatal1ty AN9-32x now or in the future. This type of info could really have helped the article in letting people know what mobos will continue to be worthless when it comes to Phenom. To say 80% of mobos won't work with phenom may be accurate, but so far it is unsubstanciated without actual word from the mannys... for all we know they are waiting until B3 as there is no sense in releasing 3 BIOS patches (Phenom support, TLB path, B3 Stepping Support) in rapid succession. If I was a manny, I probably wouldn't want to either.
December 26, 2007 6:09:39 PM

deuce271 said:
Remember a year ago when many people were saying that K10 was goign to obliterate the Core 2 Duo? And how we went all summer long w/out any leaked info on the K10 and it was because it was going to be so great? I remember that, and it makes me laugh a little.

But seriously, AMD needs to do something here. They're fixing to go down hard.


A year ago there was a lot of hope for Phenom, known then as Agena. The initial design releases looked fantastic. Now if Phenom had come out in June as originally planned, and if it had beaten back Intel's chips as the old 939 X2s had done, a lot of AMD fans (including myself) would have been overjoyed, along with a lot of AMD stockholders.

But I'm a realist. K10 is a failure and now I'm just trying to decide which Intel chip I build my new machine around.
December 26, 2007 6:10:00 PM

jstall said:
In reality this article takes the incompetence of Toms Hardware to a new level, they took Motherboards most of which have no declared BIOS upgrade for the Phenom and found what? That the CPU did not indeed work on the Motherboard that did not support it. Wow.....

On some of they have stated that they know it wasn't supported but Toms Hardware thinks it should be.... amazingly it still did not work regardless of what they thought.

The boards that have issued a supported BIOS do in fact support the CPU. Stunning..... perhaps the Author should also write a column on single digit integer math, it would be great to see what he could come up with.

You have a point. However your thinking is wrong. Not everybody owns ASUS motherboards do they?

What THG did was taking random popular motherboards of each class, without any knowledge of the motherboard being able to support Phenom or not. Then they did the tests, only to find that 8/10 do not support Phenom. This indicates 80% of all AM2 motherboards do not support Phenom. Disappointing as it is, THG added that it has only been 1 month.
December 26, 2007 6:15:31 PM

Sounds to me like it's not just AMD shooting themselves in the foot, now the motherboard manufacturer's are taking aim too. Doesn't really matter who's shooting though, it's still AMD's foot.

Hey, if AMD tanks, will Motorola get back into the chip business now that Mac's left them?

December 26, 2007 6:21:03 PM

jstall said:
In reality this article takes the incompetence of Toms Hardware to a new level, they took Motherboards most of which have no declared BIOS upgrade for the Phenom and found what? That the CPU did not indeed work on the Motherboard that did not support it. Wow.....

On some of they have stated that they know it wasn't supported but Toms Hardware thinks it should be.... amazingly it still did not work regardless of what they thought.

The boards that have issued a supported BIOS do in fact support the CPU. Stunning..... perhaps the Author should also write a column on single digit integer math, it would be great to see what he could come up with.


The article is not incompetent, and uses good logic in determining Phenom support by saying things like... The latest BIOS patch was released in July, which cannot possibly support Phenom.

However, the writer doesn't fully qualify his stance. To further qualify the argument, the writer needed to investigate further by digging deeper into the issue. OK, so the board doesn't support Phenom today. So the next question is.. Will it ever? He didn't do that... hence... the article comes across as more opinion than fact.

If the writer had further qualified the compatibility statements with say...
**Currently this motherboard has no BIOS support for Phenom.....and when THG contacted the manufacturer via email they stated that they have no plans to release a BIOS update to support Phenom**

... you would know in no uncertain terms that the board is not, and will not, be compatible with Phenom. I guess the best thing to do is to contact your mobo manny directly and ask that question.
December 26, 2007 6:24:12 PM

The facts and the information make interesting reading, but the way TechnologyCoordinator presents threads like this, just come across as another excuse for some AMD bashing.

Posted by ragemonkey:
Quote:
The title of the article is misleading and incinuates the blame lies with AMD. However, it is ultimately a manufacurer's decision whether or not to release a BIOS update to support a new line of processors


I couldn't of put it better myself
December 26, 2007 6:28:43 PM

Why in the world would motherboard manufactures expend resources to update BIOS for a defective chip that is not selling or performing as advertized? I think they take their ROI a little more serious than that.

And Wingless, you refer to the board manufacturers as "second rate"....at this point that is several notches above AMD whom I would label more appropriately as "has been" "wannabe". Without those board manufacturers, any AMD chip is nothing but a paperweight.
December 26, 2007 6:30:21 PM

speedbird said:
The facts and the information make interesting reading, but the way TC presents threads like this come across as just another excuse for some AMD bashing.

Posted by ragemonkey:
Quote:
The title of the article is misleading and incinuates the blame lies with AMD. However, it is ultimately a manufacurer's decision whether or not to release a BIOS update to support a new line of processors


I couldn't of put it better myself

As skittle pointed out, AMD promised EVERY AM2 socket motherboard will be Phenom upgradeable. So now they're liars huh?

Oh wait, this isn't the first time.
December 26, 2007 6:38:55 PM

Evilonigiri said:
AMD promised EVERY AM2 socket motherboard will be Phenom upgradeable. So now they're liars huh?



I don't remember reading such a claim

Evidence please?
December 26, 2007 6:45:26 PM

speedbird said:
The facts and the information make interesting reading, but the way TechnologyCoordinator presents threads like this, just come across as another excuse for some AMD bashing.



How did I present the thread in a bad way?

The thread title matches the article title! I quoted the entire conclusion and highlighted alarming parts that stood out, rather than cherry picking quotes and presenting them out of context I left them in context.

Article Title: "Phenom Fails Most AM2 Compatibility Tests"
Thread Title: "Tom's: Phenom Fails Most AM2 Compatibility Tests"





Would you have preferred:

Thread Title: "OMG! AMD Phenom's work in 2 out of 10 motherboards! W00t! Intel BK 2Q 2008!"
December 26, 2007 6:53:45 PM

speedbird said:
I don't remember reading such a claim

Evidence please?

:( 

I was just quoting skittle. Maybe I should have asked him for evidence before quoting him?

No matter, if AMD did say such a thing, I'll find it.
December 26, 2007 6:57:41 PM

That was pretty much the BIG thing about AM2, AM2+, AM3, Phenom.... that they would all work together... thus being less expensive than the intel solutions. Good luck finding anything on AMD.com... theyre notorious for creating charts/graphs and removing them later because it made them look bad.
December 26, 2007 7:01:34 PM

Yeah it's a shame that there's going to be AM2 owners who cannot upgrade to Phenom, but I don't remember AMD stating that 'EVERY' AM2 Board would be compatible.
a b V Motherboard
December 26, 2007 7:05:17 PM

keep in mind, guys:
AMD promised that the upgrade path would be seamless.
They didn't say when you'd be able to upgrade seamlessly.

That it hasn't happened by now is a problem that results from both AMD's production troubles AND lazy motherboard manufacturers.

Nvidia and Intel seem to be sitting on their hands with "product delays", and no one seems to be frying them - cut AMD some slack. They came out with the processor; they did their part (even though it wasn't good, it works, at least.) now it turns to motherboard makers to get the processor able to be used.

Is it AMD's fault? 50%, yes. Can they do anything whatsoever about it now? No, not really.
December 26, 2007 7:05:44 PM

Then why do they advertise that intel is more expensive for upgrades because you have to purchase new sockets more often? perhaps we can forgive them this one time... OR NOT.
December 26, 2007 7:07:15 PM

skittle said:
Then why do they advertise that intel is more expensive for upgrades because you have to purchase new sockets more often? perhaps we can forgive them this one time... OR NOT.

I believe AMD uses prices from other countries to show that Intel is more expensive.
December 26, 2007 7:08:36 PM

speedbird said:
I don't remember reading such a claim

Evidence please?


Quote:
Q: Will AMD essentially be putting two AMD dual-core processors on a single die?
A: No. The AMD64 architecture was designed from the beginning for multiple cores on a single piece of silicon. For AMD desktop quad-core processors, we have added the additional two cores and L3 cache – other resources like the integrated memory controller and HyperTransport™ technology links remain on the die. This allows quad-core AMD processors to share a single package and offers an easy upgrade path. AMD Phenom processors are designed as true triple- and quad-core products based on award-winning AMD64 technology, as well as:

* Improved overall performance
- With a true quad-core design, cores communicate on the same piece of silicon, with Direct Connect Architecture and cache and core performance enhancements
* Infrastructure Compatibility
- AM2 and AM2+ package and socket compatibility

* Unique Shared L3 Cache
- Fast access to more of the most accessed data
* 128-bit Floating Point Unit
- Larger data paths can mean improved speed in floating point calculations
* Integrated DDR2 Memory Controller
- Support for DD2-800 and planned support for DDR2-1066 pending JEDEC specification approval and release
* Enhanced Efficiency with Cool’n’Quiet 2.0 Technology
- New features enable better and more dynamic performance with increased efficiency

AMD Phenom FAQ
!