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Phenom B3 stepping reviews

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March 27, 2008 11:02:04 AM

I'm too busy to find all the reviews but here are a couple for everyone to start with.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3272

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/phenom-x4-9850.html

B3 stepping makes Phenom look quite promising. It could actually be considered competitive now. All they need to do now is find a little headroom to incease the clock speed.

edit: http://techreport.com/articles.x/14424

More about : phenom stepping reviews

March 27, 2008 11:55:57 AM

Heres that xbitlabs conclusion

"I can’t say that quad-core AMD processors using new B3 stepping surprised today. Against the background of quad-core Intel processors, they still look not very convincing falling behind the competitors in terms of performance, power consumption and overclocking potential.

Nevertheless, we can’t help stressing the fact that AMD is moving in the right direction trying to improve their Phenom X4 family at any rate. Namely, they have really rapidly fixed the notorious TLB bus that harmed the image of all processors on K10 micro-architecture a lot. Moreover, they have also increased the processors clock speeds, which is a definite advantage. The top Phenom X4 processors have even managed to catch up with the youngest Core 2 Quad representatives. Unfortunately, there is no performance parity to talk about just yet, but the gap between AMD and Intel has definitely grown smaller.

But the most important thing is that AMD have adjusted their price policy in a very smart way. Namely, the official price for AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition processor is set at $235, which is less than what the cheapest quad-core Intel processor is currently selling for. AMD Phenom X4 9750 will be offered for $215, while the youngest model – Phenom X4 9550 – is priced at $195. This way AMD has finally given up unjustified illusions and is going to offer their Phenom X4 processors at reasonable and fair prices for their performance level.

And it means that quad-core AMD CPUs will become more popular as a basis for inexpensive multi-threaded systems that may be of interest to certain user groups out there. For example, as inexpensive computers for rendering and media content processing tasks.

In conclusion I would like to say that triple-core processors that AMD starts distributing among their OEM partners these days may boast even better marketing potential than Phenom X4 the way we know it today. The price of the triple-cores is going to be even more affordable despite their relatively high computational power in multi-threaded apps. Phenom X3 8600 working at 2.3GHz will sell at about $175, while Phenom X3 8400 with 2.1GHz frequency will be priced at around $150. However, we are going to discuss Phenom X3 a little later when these processors acquire B3 stepping and become available in retail segment."

Oh come on lads, it's a start!

Related resources
March 27, 2008 11:57:22 AM

Bah, AMD needs to bring on the 45nm and get those clockspeeds up and get that power consumption down. Fixing something that should have never happened in the first place on an already sub par product is not all that impressive :??: 

Really it's the processors that are holding AMD's otherwise great looking platform back. I like their GPUs and motherboards a lot, but Phenom...not so much.
March 27, 2008 11:59:51 AM

spoonboy said:
Heres that xbitlabs conclusion

"I can’t say that quad-core AMD processors using new B3 stepping surprised today. Against the background of quad-core Intel processors, they still look not very convincing falling behind the competitors in terms of performance, power consumption and overclocking potential.

Nevertheless, we can’t help stressing the fact that AMD is moving in the right direction trying to improve their Phenom X4 family at any rate. Namely, they have really rapidly fixed the notorious TLB bus that harmed the image of all processors on K10 micro-architecture a lot. Moreover, they have also increased the processors clock speeds, which is a definite advantage. The top Phenom X4 processors have even managed to catch up with the youngest Core 2 Quad representatives. Unfortunately, there is no performance parity to talk about just yet, but the gap between AMD and Intel has definitely grown smaller.

But the most important thing is that AMD have adjusted their price policy in a very smart way. Namely, the official price for AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition processor is set at $235, which is less than what the cheapest quad-core Intel processor is currently selling for. AMD Phenom X4 9750 will be offered for $215, while the youngest model – Phenom X4 9550 – is priced at $195. This way AMD has finally given up unjustified illusions and is going to offer their Phenom X4 processors at reasonable and fair prices for their performance level.

And it means that quad-core AMD CPUs will become more popular as a basis for inexpensive multi-threaded systems that may be of interest to certain user groups out there. For example, as inexpensive computers for rendering and media content processing tasks.

In conclusion I would like to say that triple-core processors that AMD starts distributing among their OEM partners these days may boast even better marketing potential than Phenom X4 the way we know it today. The price of the triple-cores is going to be even more affordable despite their relatively high computational power in multi-threaded apps. Phenom X3 8600 working at 2.3GHz will sell at about $175, while Phenom X3 8400 with 2.1GHz frequency will be priced at around $150. However, we are going to discuss Phenom X3 a little later when these processors acquire B3 stepping and become available in retail segment."

Oh come on lads, it's a start!


A Reasonable Conclusion.
A Step in the correct direction.
AMD, However, is going to need to NAIL the 45nm conversion if they hope to move up into higher priced brackets.
March 27, 2008 12:16:31 PM

I liked what Anands said "Phenom could scale much higher, after all the individual cores aren't all that more complex than those in an Athlon 64 X2. We get the impression that there are some speed paths that could be optimized on the current B2 and B3 Phenoms that simply aren't because of a very sensible thought process. AMD is still on track to begin shipping its first 45nm Phenom processors (Deneb core) by the end of this year and it doesn't make sense to waste time and resources respinning a 65nm Phenom, when presumably these clock speed issues are addressed at 45nm" So maybe not quite there but close, with a lil room to spare?
March 27, 2008 12:47:11 PM

I like to be optimastic in general but there is one thought that still comes to mind.

Going from 90nm to 65nm with the Athlons AMD was unable to increase the clockspeed (in fact clock speed decreased) and as was unable to dramatically reduce power consumption. Almost to the point that the only gains to be had where financially for AMD.

Who's to say that going from 65nm to 45nm will be anymore succsesful? Like Anand said the stars core is very close to that of the K8 core so assumptions would lead to a repeat of 90nm to 65nm.

Hopefully though like Anand's said most of AMDS's rescources are being used to perfect the 45nm process. Still I don't think Phenom will ever reach more than 3.2ghz at any node size without an extensive redesign of the core.
March 27, 2008 12:57:47 PM

Which will be fast enough, being competitive. Look at Anands review, see just where the 6400 sits, now add speed/arch with the Phenom , plus at 3.2 and were getting somewhere
March 27, 2008 1:01:58 PM

They respun it, got the max operating speed up 200mhz, and the BE northbridge is up 200 mhz also. Max overclock on xbitlabs.com's review was 2.7ghz and stable. The respin has been in the works for what seems like a very long time, but i get the impression they made some signifigant manufacturing progress getting to B3. Doesn't seem like to much to enthusiasts, but for AMD it might mean fewer duds, and cheaper production costs at their end. It is the first (now in true) mass-production native 4-core cpu (don't flame Im just stating the fact), and it would appear the manufacturing challenges in producing large cpus are formidable. That is, in a different class altogether than for dual-core dies.
March 27, 2008 1:06:10 PM

zenmaster said:
A Reasonable Conclusion.
A Step in the correct direction.
AMD, However, is going to need to NAIL the 45nm conversion if they hope to move up into higher priced brackets.


Exactly. B3=fixed, fully functional, reliable, reputation rebuilder version 1.0. 45nm=version 2.0.
Pricing scheme is encouraging.
March 27, 2008 3:06:56 PM

it would be interesting to see the northbridge overclocked as well
March 27, 2008 5:45:14 PM

Looking at the various reviews and studying the various benchmarks 1 thing has struck me. Phenom's strength is when all the cores are maxed out. In 1 and 2 threads its really uncompetative but load up all 4 cores and it starts competing again. Which shows that scalling isn't an issue. Its purely down to single thread performance. If they can just get a little more performance out of each core Phenom would fly.

This is most obvious the in the http://techreport.com/articles.x/14424 because for every benchmark it also shows a screen shot of task manager to show which cores are doing what.
March 28, 2008 8:28:10 AM

Another thought. like you said, Intels first quad, other than ocing, AMDs first quad is very close
March 28, 2008 9:00:24 AM

gpippas said:

Who's to say that going from 65nm to 45nm will be anymore succsesful? Like Anand said the stars core is very close to that of the K8 core so assumptions would lead to a repeat of 90nm to 65nm.


They're increasing the pipelines, supposedly. If Phenom has 12 pipelines, then they could go to 20 or so and still not have major issues. That will allow for a bump up to 3.0 or 3.2 on the first SOI 45nm. Deneb is the Phenom that should have been released this April, just as B3 is the Phenom that should have been released last fall.

I have a couple of 780G ASUS boards on hand to upgrade our PC's and I'm just waiting on availability at Newegg. I'll give the 9850 a try, but I do wonder if an 8750 would be a better deal for a CPU that I'll only use until I can get my hands on a Deneb?

Tom's preview of the triple cores was very promising. If they're priced $50 below the quads, and most games utilize 2 or 3 cores at the most this spring, then a crippled Phenom might still be the one that wins the price performance race.

Of course, it will do well in OEM's due to the Spinal Tap effect, 3 cheaper cores is "faster" than 2 dual cores because it's 3. Not a bad marketing move. The OEM's will get the B2 triples, with B3 arriving in May.

Should I wait for 8750 @ 2.4 or just go 9850 @ 2.5? I won't be overclocking on a 780G board.


March 28, 2008 11:01:25 AM

I would go with a 9850. Currently the X3's are sheduled for OEM only. The 9850 also has the NB set at the original speed of 2ghz rather than the downclocked 1.8ghz.
March 28, 2008 12:16:57 PM

the 9850 seems to be like the phenom of choice out of them. shame none of the reviews got a 9750 to see if it clocked as well as the 9850. i know i'll be going a 9850 as soon as they come to australia to replace me 6000+ and 9500. starting to put left foot then right foot then repeat finally
a c 127 à CPUs
March 28, 2008 12:31:58 PM

buzzlightbeer said:
interesting reveiw i found
http://www.hothardware.com/articles/AMD_Phenom_X4_9850_...
the phenom beats the q6600 in PC mark vantage

im not saying they are better then everything intel has out just that they are finaly either winning or not far behind to the earlyest intel quad


Meh. Its still synthetic. Just like 3DMarok06. I have seen some with a X2 that get a score near a Q6600 with the same GPU. Its all too synthetic. I will admit though that the 9850 did better than I expected in some real worlld benchmarks but that might be due to the NB set to 2GHz instead of 1.8GHz, which mathos had already stated helped improve his performance.

bmadd said:
the 9850 seems to be like the phenom of choice out of them. shame none of the reviews got a 9750 to see if it clocked as well as the 9850. i know i'll be going a 9850 as soon as they come to australia to replace me 6000+ and 9500. starting to put left foot then right foot then repeat finally


The 9850 OC'ed a bit better than the 9550 did but still not what some would want. The review on techreport.com had it at 2.9GHz stable with a slight voltage increase. 3.1GHz, they didn't state if it was fully stable or not, had a voltage of 1.56v if I remember and I wouldn't be comfortable with that myself. But this does not mean the same for all the B3 Phenoms. I have a feeling though that not all will OC the same again as I think the OC'ing limits are architectural. But we shall see.
March 28, 2008 12:37:30 PM

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=11280

as per the articles i read here they all got around the 2.8 mark which is better then B2. i'll get one and see what i can get it to with 1.7V. only gotta last till 45nm quads come to play. We shall see if they are special sames review sites got or if we all get so lucky
a c 127 à CPUs
March 28, 2008 1:26:37 PM

bmadd said:
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=11280

as per the articles i read here they all got around the 2.8 mark which is better then B2. i'll get one and see what i can get it to with 1.7V. only gotta last till 45nm quads come to play. We shall see if they are special sames review sites got or if we all get so lucky


1.7v??? That sounds close to a nuclear meltdown to me :kaola: 

I like the AMDZone article..... do you expect them to crtisize it at all? And getting to 3.1GHz @ 1.56v kinda makes ya wounder why. I mean Q6600's almost everyone goes 3GHz no voltage change and 3.2Ghz with a slight bump.

Good luck with that @ 1.7v. Let us know if you survive it.
March 28, 2008 1:39:52 PM

indeed. with water cooling and fans blowing the mobo it shouldn't get that hot one would hope but hey you never know with 4 cores with stupid voltages. its always fun to play. sometimes we play rough sometimes we play gentle
March 28, 2008 2:59:16 PM

jimmysmitty said:
The review on techreport.com had it at 2.9GHz stable with a slight voltage increase. 3.1GHz, they didn't state if it was fully stable or not, had a voltage of 1.56v if I remember and I wouldn't be comfortable with that myself. But this does not mean the same for all the B3 Phenoms. I have a feeling though that not all will OC the same again as I think the OC'ing limits are architectural. But we shall see.


Well, I'm not sure I agree with the TechReport's Definition of Stable which is primarily booting.
Most of the other sites consider Stable when it can actually run through all of the various benchmarks w/o crashing.
(Still not as good as running a super intensive test, but better than what TechReport said.)

But I go agree that the new BE should get you an extra 100-200Mhz Increase on top of the slight bump due to the higher HT bump.

a c 127 à CPUs
March 28, 2008 4:30:42 PM

zenmaster said:
Well, I'm not sure I agree with the TechReport's Definition of Stable which is primarily booting.
Most of the other sites consider Stable when it can actually run through all of the various benchmarks w/o crashing.
(Still not as good as running a super intensive test, but better than what TechReport said.)

But I go agree that the new BE should get you an extra 100-200Mhz Increase on top of the slight bump due to the higher HT bump.


Well most of their non stables were unable to post. That would normaly call for a voltage increase.

But I did see Anands report of it. They got to 2.8GHz on thier chip stable with a much lower Vcore, thus is why I think that each Phenom 9850BE will have their own OC potential. But thats why we need to see a variety of reports and OC's to see what the Phenoms magic number is, kinda like the Q6600's is about 3.6GHz max on air.
March 28, 2008 5:40:26 PM

Phenom that interests me is the AMD Phenom X4 9100e. Currently its OEM only and B2 stepping but the B3 stepping version should be pretty interesting. TDP 65W 1.8ghz should overclock to 2.6ghz at least and should cost no more than $180. Perfect for a simple work machine.
March 28, 2008 6:09:59 PM

gpippas said:
Phenom that interests me is the AMD Phenom X4 9100e. Currently its OEM only and B2 stepping but the B3 stepping version should be pretty interesting. TDP 65W 1.8ghz should overclock to 2.6ghz at least and should cost no more than $180. Perfect for a simple work machine.

4 cores for a simple work machine? If you don't mind me asking, what line of business are you in?
March 28, 2008 7:48:38 PM

looking at picking up a new amd CPU to replace my old one, but would like one with the B3 stepping.

Do all of the Agena core CPU's have B3 stepping?

Im looking at this in particular
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

thanks!

*edit* just found this. I guess newegg hasnt stocked them yet :( 

"The new Phenom processor family on B3 stepping includes four models: 9550, 9650, 9750 and 9850 Black Edition"
March 28, 2008 7:49:26 PM

Nothing too taxing. But the old buisness pc is a single core 1.8ghz skt 754 sempron. 3 years ago it was pretty fast for work computer and never really got bogged down. But with software moving along as it does its really starting to show its age. So my reasoning for 4 cores for a work machine is that it will likely last another 3/4 years if not more.

I found in my experiance work machines last longer with more cores rather than high clock speeds.
March 28, 2008 8:05:15 PM

Interesting, but for a general use PC I'd rather buy a cheap dual core and upgrade in a couple of years if necessary. Saves on the power bill too.
March 28, 2008 8:22:56 PM

I wonder what the 9850 E would do if it's NB was set to 2.2-2.4GHz instead of 2.0GHz. I still think there is more hidden performance in the Phenom than what meets the eye.
March 28, 2008 9:05:09 PM

blackpanther26 said:
I wonder what the 9850 E would do if it's NB was set to 2.2-2.4GHz instead of 2.0GHz. I still think there is more hidden performance in the Phenom than what meets the eye.


Dont know, I'm tempted to get some money together, toss this 9600BE on ebay or something, and get a 9850BE just to not have to deal with the TLB bios crap, so I can do a bit less hassle with my OCing, and try a few others BIOSs that I know are stable but have the TLB fix so I don't use em.
March 28, 2008 9:19:44 PM

buzzlightbeer said:
it would be interesting to see the northbridge overclocked as well


blackpanther26 said:
I wonder what the 9850 E would do if it's NB was set to 2.2-2.4GHz instead of 2.0GHz. I still think there is more hidden performance in the Phenom than what meets the eye.


^^This is what I've been saying all along. The 6400 x2 performs as it does because the IMC is runing at 3.2ghz. If you all recall, socket AM2 could not perform as well as 939 until the IMC was at 2.4ghz. Thus, the X3 & X4 chips are basically running into the same issue Intel is with the FSB. Sure, they have far more bandwidth to the chipset, but the bandwidth to the memory system is VASTLY hindered compared to what it could be. Honestly, I was quite upset to find out that AMD had decided to use two 64bit memory controllers instead of two 128 bit memory controllers. Sure, they can read and write at the same time, but the overall bandwidth is at best the same as an x2 of the same IMC frequency.
March 28, 2008 9:49:27 PM

gpippas said:
I would go with a 9850. Currently the X3's are sheduled for OEM only. The 9850 also has the NB set at the original speed of 2ghz rather than the downclocked 1.8ghz.


Yes, that's what decides it for me. I did a bit more reading today on overclocking, and it seems it can hit 2.8 stable with regular voltage. With voltage changes (something I'm not inclined to do on a 780G board), it can only hit 2.9 stable. 3.0 still seems like a leap of faith.

I'll be hovering on Newegg once April 14th arrives. I want a 9850 and 4 gigs of performance DDR2 1066! Maybe then I won't be quite so CPU limited.

voodoo_papa said:


*edit* just found this. I guess newegg hasnt stocked them yet :( 

"The new Phenom processor family on B3 stepping includes four models: 9550, 9650, 9750 and 9850 Black Edition"


April 7th is the release date on AMD's website:

http://www.amd.com/us-en/Corporate/VirtualPressRoom/0,,...
March 28, 2008 10:41:24 PM

so how long does it usaully take for release to go to other countries? Cause im in australia so that means a good 2 weeks more which puts it at the end of april :pfff: 
March 28, 2008 10:46:45 PM

blackpanther26 said:
I wonder what the 9850 E would do if it's NB was set to 2.2-2.4GHz instead of 2.0GHz. I still think there is more hidden performance in the Phenom than what meets the eye.


Likely Very Little.
The Increase from 1.8 to 2.0 (Just over a 10% boost) yielded about a 1% increase in perfomrance.
http://xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/phenom-x4-9850...

The reason the IMC is not higher is likely due to Chip limitations.
I recall reading about a numberof ES Samples having the IMC burn up when folks upped the voltage enough to try and hit 2.2 or 2.4. (2.0 Was the Default on the ES Samples.)

Most likely the 9850 are partially hand-picked to so they can easily support 2.0NB on safe voltage.

I doubt "AMD" is "Hiding" performance, but doing the best they can to produce the best chip.
If it was simply a matter of setting a higher default NB, I have no doubt they would do so if it was that simple.
a c 127 à CPUs
March 29, 2008 4:03:59 AM

zenmaster said:
Likely Very Little.
The Increase from 1.8 to 2.0 (Just over a 10% boost) yielded about a 1% increase in perfomrance.
http://xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/phenom-x4-9850...

The reason the IMC is not higher is likely due to Chip limitations.
I recall reading about a numberof ES Samples having the IMC burn up when folks upped the voltage enough to try and hit 2.2 or 2.4. (2.0 Was the Default on the ES Samples.)

Most likely the 9850 are partially hand-picked to so they can easily support 2.0NB on safe voltage.

I doubt "AMD" is "Hiding" performance, but doing the best they can to produce the best chip.
If it was simply a matter of setting a higher default NB, I have no doubt they would do so if it was that simple.


Well this does make sense if you look at what the NB spped does. Its mainly the speed of the memory controler. So while it will increase the memory bandwidth and performance easily for synthetic benchmarks, the real worl wont see the same boost in performance.

Mor than likely due to the fact that there are very few memory bandwidth sensative programs out there. Though this would benefit the server, it wont benefit gaming and such in the same way.

End users like ourselves who mainly game and do video/audio would benefit if there was a way to increase the speed between the PCIe and CPU/memory. PCIe2.0 increaed the bandwidth of the interface but the speed of the link between the CPU has not increased. Once that does PCIe2.0might perform better than PCIe 1.1

Either way the Phenoms show that they are not that bad of a chip. But still the performance on a clock per clock basis is not there yet and I am still afraid not all will OC the same as the ES samples. I just hope the retail samples don't ship with a 1.8GHz NB again. Twice in a row would just be wrong.

*edit*
The X-bit labs only got theirs to 2.7GHz stable with a voltage increase using only the multiplier. Anand got theirs to 2.8GHz same without a voltage increase and techreport got to 3.1GHz stable with a voltage of 1.56v. So far its turning out that the B3's don't OC much better and all have different ranges they can and will go to. This almost points that the OC "disability" of the Phenoms may be limited by the architecture and not the stepping. When we have more we might know.
March 29, 2008 5:21:53 AM

3.1ghz wow i didn't think that would even be doable in a wet dream.
a b à CPUs
March 29, 2008 6:04:08 AM

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=327...

http://www.legitreviews.com/article/682/1/

http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=539&type=expert&pi...

http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/AMD_Phenom_X4_9850_...

http://www.techreport.com/articles.x/14424/1

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/phenom-x4-...

http://www.hothardware.com/Articles/AMD_Phenom_X4_9850_...

The legit article was interesting:

When it comes to benchmarks, the move from 2.50GHz to 2.97GHz increased performance by 25%, which is great considering the overclock was only 18%.

So it seems to scale very well.

zenmaster thanks for the link to Xbit where they upped the IMC speed and noted not much difference.

The latency on the L3 is still crap though.

Bolting on a heap of L3 doesn't seem to do little when compared to a much faster (and larger) L2 idea Intel is using.

Still ... overall the results are very positive for AMD ... moving in the right direction.

March 29, 2008 12:10:02 PM

Increasing the NB speed also increases the frequency of the L3 cache if I remember correctly (might be wrong). Thats where the increased performance comes from. It should also decrease the latency. Like jimmysmitty said the increased memory bandwidth won't show instant results.

zenmaster

Xbit did show the performance increase was only about 1% for a 10% overclock. However we don't know how well the NB really scales with increased frequency. So for a 30% increase in NB speed to 2.5ghz it is possible that you could see a 5% performance increase. Which when you consider a 9850BE is approx 15% slower than a Q6600 at stock speeds that is a good chunk of performance difference to be made up.

Like you said though obviously AMD can't get it faster otherwise they would.

March 29, 2008 4:23:07 PM

gpippas said:
Increasing the NB speed also increases the frequency of the L3 cache if I remember correctly (might be wrong). Thats where the increased performance comes from. It should also decrease the latency. Like jimmysmitty said the increased memory bandwidth won't show instant results.

zenmaster

Xbit did show the performance increase was only about 1% for a 10% overclock. However we don't know how well the NB really scales with increased frequency. So for a 30% increase in NB speed to 2.5ghz it is possible that you could see a 5% performance increase. Which when you consider a 9850BE is approx 15% slower than a Q6600 at stock speeds that is a good chunk of performance difference to be made up.

Like you said though obviously AMD can't get it faster otherwise they would.


NB/IMC performance scaling depends on core speed too. Sad part is either way, IMC performance doesn't start to increase a lot until the cores are above 2.6. And with Phenom still not clocking well past that you see the problem? Damn thing doesn't scale good till you get past 2.6ghz and can't currently get past it with the current design.
March 29, 2008 6:53:43 PM

Reynod said:

The legit article was interesting:

When it comes to benchmarks, the move from 2.50GHz to 2.97GHz increased performance by 25%, which is great considering the overclock was only 18%.

So it seems to scale very well.


That's odd, theoretically speaking you can't achieve better than 1:1 scaling ratio with increased clcokspeeds, I wonder if LR increased the NB/L3 as well whilst overclocking? That could be a possible explanation for the 'superlinear' scaling.

If you go by Tech Reports's overclocking benchmarks, between 2.5GHz and 3GHz Cinebench performance increases 18% from a 20% clock increase.

Mathos, I'm not sure what you mean by the 2.6GHz number? Its not like there is some magical switch beyond 2599.99MHz that suddenly allows Phenom to achieve superlinear scaling...
a b à CPUs
March 29, 2008 7:55:05 PM

Nice finds there. I was hoping a bit better performance (like actually BEATING the X2 6400+ once and for all....oh well). At least it's in the right direction, if the quoted prices are correct, they may not be too bad of a deal to get (providing you have a much slower cpu already or it's your first system). If the black edition can actually make it 3ghz (beating the x2 6400+), at least it would be a upgrade for the older boards; providing the bios gets updated for it.
By what I see though, seems the OLD Q6600 still has a slight lead over the new cpus at stock, and if overclocked, the q6600 really takes the lead over the new amd cpus. Maybe the 45nm cpus will be better?
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2008 2:52:58 AM

Yes I agree ... that bit seemed odd.

Once it is cranked above 2.8 Ghz the chip does seem a lot better across the board though.

Power dissipation becomes an issue when overclocked.

No more than an overclocked Q6600 I suppose ... Both monstrous.

I can't help but think how much better it could be if the IMC ran at the core speed (or closer to it) and it had a bigger L2 cache instead of the L3.

Still ... things seem to be looking up.
March 30, 2008 10:01:07 PM

epsilon84 said:
That's odd, theoretically speaking you can't achieve better than 1:1 scaling ratio with increased clcokspeeds, I wonder if LR increased the NB/L3 as well whilst overclocking? That could be a possible explanation for the 'superlinear' scaling.

If you go by Tech Reports's overclocking benchmarks, between 2.5GHz and 3GHz Cinebench performance increases 18% from a 20% clock increase.

Mathos, I'm not sure what you mean by the 2.6GHz number? Its not like there is some magical switch beyond 2599.99MHz that suddenly allows Phenom to achieve superlinear scaling...


It has a wierd scaling curve, starts to dip down at 2.6, then after that it shoots back up again to the original lines linear rise. But for example, my 2.6core 2.4nb/imc is equal to say about a 2.8ghz Phenom, going by benchies. But I say thats mostly due to the higher L3 cache speed.
a b à CPUs
March 30, 2008 10:11:54 PM

That's interesting. If it does yield such a big increase, I wonder why they aren't upping the HT speed to full. Are they saving that for the 45nm so they look really good?
March 30, 2008 11:16:55 PM

EXT64 said:
That's interesting. If it does yield such a big increase, I wonder why they aren't upping the HT speed to full. Are they saving that for the 45nm so they look really good?

I somehow doubt that AMD is holding back right now.
March 30, 2008 11:19:09 PM

homerdog said:
I somehow doubt that AMD is holding back right now.


Think you're right, its very rare for the IMC to be able to run stable above 2.0/2.2 on the phenoms when it comes down to it. Though may be how they come back on the deneb 45nm though.
a b à CPUs
March 31, 2008 1:14:40 AM

Oh no, I agree it isn't as simple as upping the frequency on the current hardware. I meant designing it to run at the higher HT link as many current mothers claim to support.
a c 102 à CPUs
March 31, 2008 2:47:49 AM

shabodah said:
^^This is what I've been saying all along. The 6400 x2 performs as it does because the IMC is runing at 3.2ghz. If you all recall, socket AM2 could not perform as well as 939 until the IMC was at 2.4ghz. Thus, the X3 & X4 chips are basically running into the same issue Intel is with the FSB. Sure, they have far more bandwidth to the chipset, but the bandwidth to the memory system is VASTLY hindered compared to what it could be. Honestly, I was quite upset to find out that AMD had decided to use two 64bit memory controllers instead of two 128 bit memory controllers. Sure, they can read and write at the same time, but the overall bandwidth is at best the same as an x2 of the same IMC frequency.


There are a few possible reasons why AMD didn't put two 128-bit memory controllers into the Phenom. Two 128-bit memory controllers would require four channels using available 64-bit DDR2 or DDR3 modules. A current Socket AM2 or Socket 1207 chip only has 480 pins for two channels and using four would require doubling the RAM control pin count, requiring a new socket. AMD has promised backwards compatibility, particularly on Socket 1207, so this is a no-go. Requiring four modules for peak performance would also get a bit cumbersome while just transitioning to DDR3 also gives a big increase in bandwidth, so that probably puts dampers on the dual 128-bit IMC plan as well.
a b à CPUs
March 31, 2008 12:36:15 PM

Thanks MU ...

Is memory bandwidth the real issue at present thou? ... isn't it the cache latency on that L3 pig of a thing MU ... and the prefetch logic ... plus the core2 is essentially a wider design?

Look at the Scott Wasson original Barcy article for a good brief on that whole latency issue.

Tends to explain the major reason the single socket performance can't catch Intel.

On the multisocket front the thing scales quite well.

An ugly duckling ... some may say but I think of it more like comparing a Train engine to a prime mover.

Intel's prime mover can tow one or two trailers at speed but runs out of steam on a steep hill and has to drop back a few cogs (but picks up down the other side quickly). It is a lot faster and more maneuverable.


AMD's train engine can't go as fast but can pull a bigger load because it can easily insert more engines in a line ... the couplings between them allow one engine to control the rest easily ... more engines more load.

VIA's go cart has a whipper snipper motor.

Intel's new atom is a glow plug engine from my model aeroplane.

I see some of the other threads used car analogies ... not going there again with the whole Jap vs US Muscle cars ... I like Detroit Iron !!


April 10, 2008 10:24:36 PM

I'm interested if my board would support "Deneb", i currently have an Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard running a Phenom 9600 (B2).
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