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Phenoms, which is better?

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March 26, 2009 1:45:33 AM

Hello everybody,

I wanted to clarify some things about Phenoms:

1. First, I was told that Phenoms were very bad and that Phenom II are the way to go, is this true? I am not looking for the ultimate gaming pc but something that is pretty good. So which is better Phenom or Phenom II?

2. what are the main differences between Phenom and Phenom II? Other than one being 65nm and the II being 45 nm

3. how many cores are in the Phenom? 1,2,3,or 4..... or is that what X3 and X4 represent?

Any answers would be appreciated

thanks

More about : phenoms

March 26, 2009 2:17:10 AM

1. Yes, the Phenom II's are the way t go if you want good performance. The old (65nm) Phenoms were not that powerful compared to Intel's offerings. Overall I would go for a Phenom II because it is pretty equal to intel's Core 2 Quads in performance.

2.The Phenom II will have larger cache which will affect performance in most games. They will run cooler then the 65nm Phenoms. They are faster clock to clock. They can also overclock better then the old Phenoms.

3. The Phenoms vary from 3-4 cores. Just look at the end of it, if it says X3=3 cores and X4=4 cores.
March 26, 2009 2:26:28 AM

1) Phenom II are vastly superior to Phenom.
2) Can't remember specifics, but I do remember PII outperforms P clock for clock
3) X3 - 4 physical cores, 1 is disabled. Generally they're X4 chips that had a defective core. X4 - 4 cores, 4 running.
Related resources
March 26, 2009 2:31:58 AM

If you get a 790GX or FX motherboard, there is a 30% chance you will be able to unlock a perfectly functioning core of your X3 by enabling ACC.
March 26, 2009 9:37:28 AM

Phenom II 720 best price / performance chip out today?
March 26, 2009 10:29:50 AM

For games yes 720 is def not a bad choice for it's price although depends on the games also what mobo you have to see if you can work the shut down core although for that price i would go with Intel's E7400 and just oc it to death for performance, 940 Deneb isn't a bad choice either for it's price at least if your just going for games if your going for something else you kind of have to take it cpu vs cpu on the exact program and settings you will be using.
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a b 4 Gaming
March 26, 2009 11:40:42 AM

Do not even look at the regular Phenoms, it is Phenom II or nothing.
A 3.0ghz Quad core, like the Phenom 940 with unlocked mulitplier and good overclocking potential, for ~$215 is simply a great buy.
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March 26, 2009 6:58:38 PM

Thanks everybody
March 26, 2009 7:09:01 PM

Yea, the differance between the two boils down to 65nm vs 45 nm (Smaller = cooler, less electricity) The original Phenom also featured only 2MB of L3 cache vs PhenomII's 6MB of L3.

In choosing which to buy, its really a no brainer to pick PhenomII.
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March 26, 2009 9:08:03 PM

Cool, I will get the Phenom II

Thanks everybody
March 26, 2009 9:49:19 PM

One other advantage is that the idle power consumption (when you're not actively doing anything) is much lower for Phenom II than the older Phenoms. Even the Phenom II 940 Black Edition @ 3.0GHz consumes even less than Intel's highly successful 45nm-offerings.

Best of all, Phenom II can be used with regular motherboards, so get a cheap AMD 780G/790GX or nVidia GeForce 8200/8300 motherboard and insert it there. Please pick a motherboard capable of 125W CPUs.
March 26, 2009 9:57:13 PM

X3 is the best price/performance chip out there.
2.8ghz stock, great OCing, 3 cores, possible 4th core unlock, DDR2/3, and unlocked multi all for 150 ;p
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March 26, 2009 11:44:24 PM

Why does AMD sell a processor with a disabled core? And how can the mobo unlock it?

And if one does get the X3, is it the same as getting an X4 if the mobo unlocked the fourth core? Is this a better way of buying the Phenom?
March 26, 2009 11:50:49 PM

The X3's have a disabled core so that Phenom X4 processors with (only) one defect core at production, can still be sold as Phenom X3's. They simply program it so it gets disabled. This can be undone so you get a X4 instead. That should not work, since one core is defective. But now the X3's start selling well, AMD is forced to sell X4's as X3's since there not enough 'damaged' Phenoms to supply.

So while you bought an X3, you might also have bought an X4 with an X3 label, so you can unlock it and have a 'free' core extra. Not that it changed much. :) 

Note that the Phenom X4 940BE has a higher clockrate than the X3's can go, making it better for gaming which prefer clock speed (or rather single-thread performance). It also does not consume more power when idling than other Phenoms, despite it having a 125W TDP tag.
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March 26, 2009 11:58:38 PM

Is there a way of telling whether Phenom is actually X4 or do u just buy and try it out?
March 27, 2009 12:01:59 AM

anything over $1000 then phenom II 940, is the only binned and unlocked chip that is competitive in 4 cores - il ike the 940 with the enhanced sb

the tri core is good for cheapy systems 720 can be run at 3ghz which is pretty great for non oc and a q9650 is $300 - they are going after the E8500 and around that area


then again low since a q6600 is still around and the 9550 runs 3.8ghz with ease
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March 27, 2009 12:13:29 AM

So what are u saying Dragonsprayer?

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a b 4 Gaming
March 27, 2009 8:23:44 AM

Kraynor said:
1) Phenom II are vastly superior to Phenom.
2) Can't remember specifics, but I do remember PII outperforms P clock for clock
3) X3 - 4 physical cores, 1 is disabled. Generally they're X4 chips that had a defective core. X4 - 4 cores, 4 running.


1) I wouldn't say vastly outperform but they do vastly OC and clock higher much better than Phenom did.
2) its about 5-15% depending on the app and if the app is highly multithreaded.
3) Yep.
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March 27, 2009 10:47:02 PM

So what should i get for mild gaming?

Right now i am leaning towards Phenom II
March 27, 2009 11:05:12 PM

PII 720 or 940 will serve all your purposes.
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March 28, 2009 1:55:40 AM

Thanks, which is better for OCing? the 940 right?...

What is 940 BE?
March 28, 2009 5:38:51 AM

940 BE stands for Black Edition, which means the multiplier is unlocked, which allows for overclocking so easy, a caveman can do it.

About the numbers, the first digit means this:
9xx = Quad Core with full 6MB of L3 cache
8xx = Quad again, but it's 4MB of L3 cache
7xx = Triple Core, in which one core on a quad is disabled, retains full 6MB L3 cache
(might be possible to unlock the "disabled" core, but it's not a guarantee, only a chance that it might function as a fully working core.)

as for the 940 BE, it's a top grade Phenom II Quad, but it's meant to fit into the aging AM2+ motherboards, a new version will come out, which is the 945 BE and will fit with the new AM3 motherboards
!