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Reactions to toms P2 review?

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January 8, 2009 4:26:16 PM

what did you guys think of the p2 review done here today? take one thing into consideration: none of the processors seemed to be overclocked.

i think the best thing about the p2 for me was the power consumption levels. being an environmentalist whore i love knowing the fact that im using as little energy as possible. overall however, i was not THAT impressed with the initial p2 benchmarks for games in particular. i was wrong in my assumption that it would compete with the Q series. i guess what everyone else was saying was correct: the p2 is what the p1 SHOULD have been. thoughts?

More about : reactions toms review

January 8, 2009 4:38:35 PM

I thought Anand's was a lot better in that it compared each chip to its closest competitor where Tom's kind of just threw them in between the Q6600 and the i7 processors. I think it's pretty nice for a die shrink (with added cache). People spreading all kinds of crazy hype and unrealistic expectations the last couple of months didn't help the launch any.

Phenom II is a big improvement over the Phenom mark I's and they do well when compared to the Q9400 (vs 940) and Q8300 (vs 920) since they are priced the same (for now). It's a great upgrade for people with compatable motherboards and isn't a bad option for people building from scratch. I don't think it will win over too many current core 2 owners but I didn't really expect it to.
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January 8, 2009 4:42:07 PM

yea i liked how you can use older socket models for the new processor. i think it will definitely give them an edge in the market.
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January 8, 2009 5:00:14 PM

I agree with both of you. Good improvement in clock speeds, voltages, power consumption, etc due to a die shrink. But 20% slower than i7 will make it difficult for many serious hardware enthusiast to chose AMD over i7.

I think the CPU's socket backward compatibility is the bonus for AMD. This will keep the current AMD users in AMD's product line for a much longer upgrade flow. Plus the current AMD users will have a fairly cheap upgrade cost flow. Good job on that.

For current AMD users good.

For new builds, ok, but it will not capture much of the "new enthusiast build" market at that price.
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January 8, 2009 5:04:47 PM

I was fairly pleased with the results. It seems to be a decent processor. I wasn't expecting miracles, though. The unfortunate truth is that processor design is a really slow process, so this is really about the best they could do. It's a good start that I imagine will get them some money, but they have a really rough road ahead of them and I sure hope they can make it.
January 8, 2009 5:13:06 PM

The Ph2 is ok, though I do think it needed to be nearer the level of a Q9450 performance wise in games. Power wise it's pretty good as a system, shame they couldnt knock its idle power down, reducing the idle system draw even further!

Price wise, in the UK, I've seen the 920 selling for £203, and I've seen an OEM Q9450 @ £206, so to me the Ph2 is overpriced. Which is a shame, since I want a HybridPower system, and Intel just dont have any HybridPower motherboards :( 

Rumour has it, Intel will be cutting prices at the end of January, so bring on the price war!
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January 8, 2009 5:19:08 PM

loftie said:
The Ph2 is ok, though I do think it needed to be nearer the level of a Q9450 performance wise in games. Power wise it's pretty good as a system, shame they couldnt knock its idle power down, reducing the idle system draw even further!

Price wise, in the UK, I've seen the 920 selling for £203, and I've seen an OEM Q9450 @ £206, so to me the Ph2 is overpriced. Which is a shame, since I want a HybridPower system, and Intel just dont have any HybridPower motherboards :( 

Rumour has it, Intel will be cutting prices at the end of January, so bring on the price war!


yeah i heard that elsewhere as well. i might be upgrading my cpu sooner than expected if thats the case... guess ill be running my E8500 at 4.5 till it fries up ina year :sol: 
a b à CPUs
January 8, 2009 5:30:06 PM

This a great upgrade for those that have a board that can run these cpus. I hope the retail cpus can overclock like the ES that anand ran on there review.

The bad news is Anand stated that Intel is going to cut the price on the q9950 down to the x4 940 price range.

Its going to interesting to see what happens when the i5s come out along with the AM3s. The i5 cpus should be cheaper then the i7s(which are cheap). The boards for them should also be cheaper than the x58s. DD3 will be also be cheaper.

It is a good cpu and a good platform. Its power usage is great. Its performance is good. Its overclocking ability seems to great(on the ES chips from the reviews). The bad is its still slower clock for clock than C2Q. It is no match at all for i7. Which does cost WAY more to upgrade to. But leads me to think about the future AM3's vs i5s. That is not looking good for AMD.

This seems like a win for everybody. If you got a board that supports them its a great upgrade. Anand says Intel is going to drop to price on the q9950/q9400 which is great if you got a 775 system. We got two good options that both peform nicely and both overclock great. WIN WIN
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January 8, 2009 5:42:39 PM

EXT64 said:
I was fairly pleased with the results. It seems to be a decent processor. I wasn't expecting miracles, though. The unfortunate truth is that processor design is a really slow process, so this is really about the best they could do. It's a good start that I imagine will get them some money, but they have a really rough road ahead of them and I sure hope they can make it.


IMHO, this is what AMD should have done with P1. Clearly their 65nm process was at fault, at least initially. I think IBM gave them some help at 45nm as it seems to be a really good node for them.

Hopefully there will be more detailed reviews done here and elsewhere. A quick browse of some reviews seems to show the P2 as reaching 3.5 - 3.7GHz on air, not the "easy 4+ GHZ" some of the previews and fanbois were spouting, and which now look like cherrypicked chips.
January 8, 2009 6:21:16 PM

I do hope that the PII drives AMD's stock above three bucks a share so I can sell what I bought back when it was below two. PII is going to be a nice enough upgrade for the diehards that suffered through Phenom chips. That's about as much as I can say about the hardware.

As for the review:
They give it a "Recommended Buy" sticker because it performs 10% better(in some benchmarks) than a two year old Q6600. Mind you, the cost is 20% higher.
If they're going to run it against the Q6600 then they should run it at 3.2-3.6 Ghz and overclock the PII to as high as it will be stable on air before running benchmarks.

It's like watching a useless grad student move data points on a graph so that their bad experiment results will fit some curve they have in mind.
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January 8, 2009 7:25:37 PM

squatchman said:
I do hope that the PII drives AMD's stock above three bucks a share so I can sell what I bought back when it was below two. PII is going to be a nice enough upgrade for the diehards that suffered through Phenom chips. That's about as much as I can say about the hardware.

As for the review:
They give it a "Recommended Buy" sticker because it performs 10% better(in some benchmarks) than a two year old Q6600. Mind you, the cost is 20% higher.
If they're going to run it against the Q6600 then they should run it at 3.2-3.6 Ghz and overclock the PII to as high as it will be stable on air before running benchmarks.

It's like watching a useless grad student move data points on a graph so that their bad experiment results will fit some curve they have in mind.


Having once been a 'useless grad student' :) , I should say that I flunked undergrads who I found guilty of doing just that - we called it fudging.

As for the recommended buy, you'll notice that Anand's also has a pretty glowing conclusion that is a grade or two above what their own test results seem to show. I suspect the AMDzone goon squad has actually gotten to the reviewers so that they will find some reason to raise the final grade :) . Anyway, P2 falls out pretty much as I had expected, although I will admit that I myself thought it would overclock a bit higher on air.
January 9, 2009 1:19:10 AM

I felt the review was quite professional and nicely organized, though we've all just come from many amateur/messy NDA-period reviews, and there's no such thing as a perfect overview.

I don't fully agree with the conclusions, but the P2 is all around a decent product when you factor in the substantial possibilities of upgrade. It's not outrageously good or bad at performance, pricing, power consumption, and usability/technical features. Lacking extremes makes it decent and close enough to competitive, but no more or less for the DT market. Of course, if you compare it with the original Phenom, which was really a flop, things look kind of rosy.

That said, here are the factors I consider as weakening the conclusions for this article:

When they compare system pricing, they consider DDR2 for the Core 2 Quads and Phenoms, and DDR3 just for the i7. But when they benchmark, just like in Anand's review, all the Core 2 Quads are running off DDR3. Well, when you're in the store, you're trying to compare the performance/value of Phenom II/DDR2 and C2Q/DDR2, and their benchmark may not accurately tell you that. Conversely, I could be wrong and DDR2-1066 CL5 and DDR3-1333 CL7 may be virtually identical for C2Q, but a control test over a subset of benches would have been prudent (or a link to a relevant article, if it's been done).

In the system power comparison, the only representative for the Penryn family is the QX9770, making it seem that Penryns consume more power than the Q6600. Ever since the first review I saw of the QX9770 (at Anand's), it's been apparent that Intel did something to raise power consumption of this processor. All the other Penryns consume much less power at the same Vcores and frequencies. This unrepresentative Penryn carried into the conclusion that the PII leads in system performance/watt (with the i7 left out because it's not in the cost range). But they produced no performance/watt table and did not even reveal typical Penryn power consumption for this mainboard/RAM setup. Additionally, the X48 mainboard is among the highest power consuming chipsets available (supports 32-lane Xfire), while the 790GX is a good wattage stepdown from the 790FX (GX supports only 16-lane Xfire, power figures referenced at http://hothardware.com/Articles/AMD-790GX-Chipset-Platf...). Had they compared boards for the same market (ideally, P45/790GX) and used a more typical Penryn, I don't think PII would lead in energy efficiency, though it wouldn't be so far behind like the Phenom I as to call outright uncompetitive.

I would be quite in agreement with recommending PII as an upgrade, especially considering how many are running A64's on eligible boards, and in light of how uncompetitive PI really was. The upgrade for PI is not necessarily urgent, though, and in a short while, a better PII will come out which isn't EOL (i.e., a final upgrade, after which you must replace CPU/board/RAM at once).

I just don't feel the same about recommending a PII build from scratch, as the data points to its being slightly behind C2Q offerings in either price or raw performance or performance per watt, though not by margins to call it a big mistake. Both platforms are EOL, and forgetting that would be the big oversight.
January 9, 2009 1:44:02 AM

I agree with most of what youve said, but dont forget the igp, and also, how many new cpus are coming out for the skt 775? If this is the last P2 released, Id agree with you here, but alot of people dont see itthis way.
January 9, 2009 1:46:52 AM

50bmg said:
I agree with both of you. Good improvement in clock speeds, voltages, power consumption, etc due to a die shrink. But 20% slower than i7 will make it difficult for many serious hardware enthusiast to chose AMD over i7.

I think the CPU's socket backward compatibility is the bonus for AMD. This will keep the current AMD users in AMD's product line for a much longer upgrade flow. Plus the current AMD users will have a fairly cheap upgrade cost flow. Good job on that.

For current AMD users good.

For new builds, ok, but it will not capture much of the "new enthusiast build" market at that price.



This is the golden ticket though!

I have an AM2+ board and it is soo nice to be able to retire my Athlon x2 6000+ and get something newer without having to replace a Mobo.

Im looking forward to the much lower power requirment's the cooler case temp's and a very nice bump in performance! All for 300$!

I would have liked to see benchmarks with the Phenom2 overclocked to see how much of a % it gain's in speed.

All in all im very excited! Not much new's for Intel customer's but very good new's for us old AMD dog's who just cant part way's!
January 9, 2009 2:33:32 AM

I read Tom's and [H]ard's reviews; they were both disappointing (and a little biased towards Intel, I thought; [H]ard had 2GB RAM for the PII system and 4-6 for the Intels). Then I read Anand's review of the Phenom II; I felt that it cast it in a much better light, and I was pretty impressed with the performance.

I'd personally wait for AM3, but it's great that AMD has a product which is, at worst, somewhat competitive; I refuse to sell my soul to Intel (they lost my business after my Prescott oven fried).
January 9, 2009 2:47:38 AM

Its a good upgrade for AMD users, but a average chip. Its the same performance that we saw some 9 months ago from the Q9300/Q9400. Not to take anything away from the chip or its performance, or even people buying it, but this chip was way...way...way over hyped and over estimated on this site.

Once again ill state, I understand the excitement from current AMD users needing an upgrade, but for the rest of the market/userbase this is mediocrity.
January 9, 2009 3:01:49 AM

It's 275 at the egg. The Q6600 is 189 at the egg. The Phenom 2 is 10% faster, but ~46% more expensive at stock speeds, seems a bit overpriced to me.
January 9, 2009 3:02:21 AM

spathotan said:
Its a good upgrade for AMD users, but a average chip. Its the same performance that we saw some 9 months ago from the Q9300/Q9400. Not to take anything away from the chip or its performance, or even people buying it, but this chip was way...way...way over hyped and over estimated on this site.

Once again ill state, I understand the excitement from current AMD users needing an upgrade, but for the rest of the market/userbase this is mediocrity.



After reading just about every review on the PII I have come to the same conclusion. I don't have an AM2+ board so it would not be a good upgrade path for me unless the things are dirt cheap. I do love a bargain. :D 

I will probably be looking at building new system some time in December of this year and will seriously consider an Intell quad. Hopefully the prices will drop on the i7 systems. Of course by then my wife will probably want and upgrade too so I might have to build two of them and give my AM2 6000+ to my daughter.

Unless a miracle happens and AMD releases the Phenom III super chip.....

I certainly got a lot of mileage out of my 939 and AM2 systems so I have no regrets.
January 9, 2009 3:09:11 AM

I'm pretty happy with it. And I was thinking in upgrading my Phenom 9550 to a black edition 9950... No way!
P2 all the way!

The Core i7 scores are incredible. Its the perfect platform... but in days of trouble where the price tag is the most important thing, AMD headed in the right direction. Maybe we expected more, but personally I think its difficult to find a manufacturer doing magic these days, specially with such red numbers AMD was/is having day after day.

Does anyone else thinks that this AMD face-change was done in record time? Imagine, Phenom 1, TLB bug, low performance compared to the competition, later on, we got TLB fixed, and then Phenom 2, way better than phenom 1, compatible in most actual mobos (including several AM2 ones), and its way more overclockable and more efficient.

Ok, its not magic, but I think its a huge effort for a smaller company like AMD in these times of trouble.
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January 9, 2009 3:10:35 AM

My complaint of the review is that Microsoft Flight Simulator X wasn't used as a benchmark.Please use FSX as a benchmark as a LOT of people use this quad core optimized title.
January 9, 2009 3:22:05 AM

i thought the tech reports P2 review was better... they actually oc'd. P2 overclocking reminds me of core i7. nowhere near as reliable numbers as core 2's. some i7 p65 extremes are barely getting past the 4GHz mark on air... seems AMD hand picked their P2 chips as well.
January 9, 2009 3:33:20 AM

It's possible we'll never see overclocking as we did with Core 2's. They've proven since they came out that the arch was capable of speeds well over 3.4Ghz very consistently (E2200 and up). How many Core 2's can't hit a 50% overclock on good air cooling?

Really, I think Intel wanted to release all Core 2's 600Mhz higher but knew it'd kill AMD.
January 9, 2009 3:46:57 AM

my comment on i7 watts:
"we measured the power consumption directly from the 12 volt rail that supplied the CPU", i read somewhere the only i7 core logic gets power from 12v rail, the uncore/cache part somewhere else. am i right on this one?
January 9, 2009 4:12:13 AM

Dekasav said:
Really, I think Intel wanted to release all Core 2's 600Mhz higher but knew it'd kill AMD.



You know................

Wouldn't that get the AMD fans panties in a bunch?
January 9, 2009 4:22:08 AM

lol sif... intels biggest dream is to kill AMD, so they have a monopoly and drive prices through the roof. our biggest nightmare is intel killing AMD.
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January 9, 2009 4:50:30 AM

My core2 is running on a 40 percent overlock on stock volts with stock cooler.

I think the only people disapointed with the PII are the fanbodys that overhyped or overwished its performance. I thaught it would just edge out core2 clock for clock. It fell just short. Not that big of deal. Pretty much what I thaught it would be.
January 9, 2009 5:04:04 AM

50bmg said:
I agree with both of you. Good improvement in clock speeds, voltages, power consumption, etc due to a die shrink. But 20% slower than i7 will make it difficult for many serious hardware enthusiast to chose AMD over i7.

I think the CPU's socket backward compatibility is the bonus for AMD. This will keep the current AMD users in AMD's product line for a much longer upgrade flow. Plus the current AMD users will have a fairly cheap upgrade cost flow. Good job on that.

For current AMD users good.

For new builds, ok, but it will not capture much of the "new enthusiast build" market at that price.


Well, I'm getting at least a 920, but I'm tempted to wait for AM3 models so I have the option of moving it over to an 880G motherboard with DDR3 down the line. I can just move the 8750 to a 690G board in my wife's PC.

I'm glad motherboard companies are supporting Phenom II backwards compatibility this time. AMD was hurt by lack of B2 support on AM2 boards at launch.

There are different types of enthusiasts. Some decide on more than just the CPU and AMD chipsets with ATI cards make a really nice PC at every price range. 780G's HD 3200, 790GX's HD3300 and 880G's 4xxx class IGP leave Intel further behind and are not only good backups for guys like me, but great for entry level and OEM systems.

When the 3870x2 died on me, I had to use the HD3200 for awhile and it did better than I'd expected in LOTRO: MoM. That, plus troubleshooting without a discrete card is why I love good IGP's.

So, AMD has a market, and enthusiasts are just part of it.
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January 9, 2009 5:29:12 AM

It's a competitive CPU at a competitive price. From the Anand and Guru reviews they match pretty closely to the Q8300 and Q9400 with good overclocking on the 790GX and 790FX motherboards with the SB750. Enthusiasts like ourselves will be the big losers if AMD goes under and Intel has a monopoly on producing CPUs.
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January 9, 2009 5:30:30 AM

In my view the review is a little on the hap-hazzard side.
1.) They ran memory timings at @800, should have a least been tuned to @1066 (or explained why they didn't or couldn't)
2.)They used a MoBo with a 600SB and 700SB (not top of the line like aahh say Intel 58X) allthough it is nice to give some owners of these SouthBridge chips hope that they to will have Bios support in the near future.
3.)No mention of FSB to see if they can be turned up, while dropping the muliplier to see what kind of head room may or may not be gained.

I know these are some of the first reviews done in wild, and these numbers are right where I expected. But there is alot more testing and tuning to be done. LET THE PRICE WARS BEGIN !!!
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January 9, 2009 6:22:31 AM

lucuis said:
It's 275 at the egg. The Q6600 is 189 at the egg. The Phenom 2 is 10% faster, but ~46% more expensive at stock speeds, seems a bit overpriced to me.


From th THG results, 1% faster on a non clock per clock basis. Add in the 600MHz disadvantage the Q6600 has at stock and its even worse. But take the results from a QX6850 as a Q6600 and you will see what the true clock per clock results are.

And thats what I feel this is truly missing. Its only on the performance/watt instead of a clock per clock level and as WR said, they didn't truly represent a Penryn C2Q by using the QX9770 which I think has much higher power consumption because it has a much higher FSB (1600 compared to 1333). I have seen a 3GHz Penryn use less power than a Q6600 at stock. And without a tru clock per clock representation we cannot see if its better to get a Q6600 and OC it, get a Q9450/9550 and OC it or a PHII 940. That and the power usage is still lower by a lot with a Q9450/9550 than what a Q6600/QX9770 show.

Overall, it was a OK review. But they missed a lot of stuff in it that would have made it more interesting.
January 9, 2009 7:12:00 AM

lucuis said:
It's 275 at the egg. The Q6600 is 189 at the egg. The Phenom 2 is 10% faster, but ~46% more expensive at stock speeds, seems a bit overpriced to me.



You have to understand that most people are not looking to buy a completely new system! 90% of people buying a cpu are upgrading a current system. This cpu is the perfect solution right now for am2 and am2+ users until am3 comes along.

Way lower power consumption!
Much better performance!
Much better Ocing
Run's much cooler

Thats nothing but positives! and all you have to do is buy the cpu and nothing else.


Call me an old stubborn fart but im an AMD partisan but i understand what i got is not the fastest but my Athlon x2 6000+ does everything i want perfect and look at how old it is!

I cant wait to drop one of these nice chip's in just for the lower power usage and lower heat! You ever see what an x2 6000+ 90mn put's out!

It's very hot and power hungry but has served me well for years!
January 9, 2009 9:43:53 AM

xx12amanxx said:
You have to understand that most people are not looking to buy a completely new system! 90% of people buying a cpu are upgrading a current system. This cpu is the perfect solution right now for am2 and am2+ users until am3 comes along.

Way lower power consumption!
Much better performance!
Much better Ocing
Run's much cooler

Thats nothing but positives! and all you have to do is buy the cpu and nothing else.


Call me an old stubborn fart but im an AMD partisan but i understand what i got is not the fastest but my Athlon x2 6000+ does everything i want perfect and look at how old it is!

I cant wait to drop one of these nice chip's in just for the lower power usage and lower heat! You ever see what an x2 6000+ 90mn put's out!

It's very hot and power hungry but has served me well for years!


For sure, i can appreciate that. I probably should have clarified that i was looking at it from a "new build" standpoint.
!