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AMD's 3.2 GHz Phenom II X4 955 Dated

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 36 comments

Looks as though AMD's Phenom II X4 955 CPU is finally getting a street date: April 20

It's no secret that AMD's quad-core AM3 Phenom II is expected to hit the market in April, and for weeks--possibly months--speculations and rumors have been tossed around like a hot potato, dictating exactly when the flagship processor will actually appear. At this moment, the April 20 date may still be only speculation, but this report seems confident in its forecast, and hopefully, it rings true.

The current reigning Phenom II X4 champion, the AM2+-based 940 released back in January, offers a nice core speed of 3 GHz, 2 MB (4x 512 KB) of L2 cache, 6 MB of L3 cache, and a TDP of 125W. However, come next month, the 955 will become the top dog of the quad-core Phenom II family, offering a faster clock speed of 3.2 GHz--a 200 MHz increase over the previous 940 processor. Additionally, the new processor will also bring to the table AM3 socket compatibility, and support for dual channel DDR2 and DDR3 memory. However, everything else--L2, L3, TDP and 45nm processing--will remain unchanged.

Originally, the 3.1 GHz Phenom II X4 950 was scheduled to hit the market in Q2 2009, however AMD scrapped the idea, and decided to go forward with the 955 version instead.

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  • 0 Hide
    A Stoner , March 18, 2009 6:55 PM
    I like that better, gives a much better feel for upgrading. Going from 3.0 to 3.1, not alot, but 3.0 to 3.2 feels like a better bump. I always thought that now that we are in the multi GHz range they should do most diferentiation with more than 100MHz bumps.
  • 2 Hide
    afrobacon , March 18, 2009 6:56 PM
    any idea as to est. price?
  • 0 Hide
    buzznut , March 18, 2009 7:09 PM
    good question. Wonder if the new am3 will debut at $235 like the 940, and then modest drops along the rest of the line, Or will they price it to match say a Q9550 at $275. Assuming a similar performance..
  • 1 Hide
    Liuqyn , March 18, 2009 7:35 PM
    but is it going to be black edition?
  • 2 Hide
    hellwig , March 18, 2009 7:51 PM
    I'll stick with an AM2+ board if I upgrade in the near future even if I get a nice AM3, no need to pay DDR3 prices. A black edition would also be nice, but if there's really going to be a Phenom FX, how much longer will AMD keep releasing black editions?

    I'm a little confused though. AM3 CPUs are backwards compatable with AM2 sockets (assuming BIOS support is there). Why did AMD release AM2-only Phenom IIs? With AM3 boards already on the market, it doesn't make sense to have two separate chips.
  • 0 Hide
    pcuser12 , March 18, 2009 8:02 PM
    Lol, 420. Whens that x86 license expire again? XD
  • 0 Hide
    Mucke , March 18, 2009 9:29 PM
    I'll stick with an AM2+ board if I upgrade in the near future even if I get a nice AM3, no need to pay DDR3 prices.
  • 1 Hide
    Mucke , March 18, 2009 9:33 PM
    Quote:
    I'll stick with an AM2+ board if I upgrade in the near future even if I get a nice AM3, no need to pay DDR3 prices. A black edition would also be nice, but if there's really going to be a Phenom FX, how much longer will AMD keep releasing black editions?


    For Upgrading an existing PC: yes. For building a new one: no. DDR3 is already pretty close to DDR2 in price, and the lower voltage makes a real difference in the power consumption (the last benchmark I saw had a Phenom II 810 with DDR2 against the same CPU with DDR3 -- the difference was 20Watt in idle, 40Watt when used).

    Quote:
    I'm a little confused though. AM3 CPUs are backwards compatable with AM2 sockets (assuming BIOS support is there). Why did AMD release AM2-only Phenom IIs? With AM3 boards already on the market, it doesn't make sense to have two separate chips.


    Rumors say that AMD had trouble making a memory controller that supports DDR2 _AND_ DDR3. But they didn't want to push back the entire generation, so they brought just DDR2 first.
  • 5 Hide
    timaahhh , March 18, 2009 9:37 PM
    At first I thought the article title ment X4 955 outdated lol.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 18, 2009 10:44 PM
    Sounds good to me. It's about time to upgrade my overclocked Athlon 5000 @ 3.1GHz after all.
  • 0 Hide
    radiowars , March 18, 2009 10:53 PM
    Hmmmm, I'll wait for benchmarks and price. If it performs almost just as well as the i7, but costs 20% less, I'd much rather have that lol. We'll wait an see....
  • 0 Hide
    gnesterenko , March 18, 2009 11:34 PM
    Yea, this thing needs to beat an i7 920. Price is likely to be close, 20 or 30 below or so. If it can do better, then when/if Phenom II FX comes around, things will really get interesting.
  • 1 Hide
    FrozenGpu , March 19, 2009 12:40 AM
    Ummm, what happened to the Phenom II X4 925?
  • -1 Hide
    mdillenbeck , March 19, 2009 1:09 AM
    timaahhhAt first I thought the article title ment X4 955 outdated lol.


    Had the same reaction - I expected an article about how the chip was obsolete based on the wording of the title!

    My only problem with going i7 is the double whammy of higher priced processor and mainboard. I might have been able to eek out one costly item on my student budget, but not both.
  • 0 Hide
    zedx , March 19, 2009 3:17 AM
    gnesterenkoYea, this thing needs to beat an i7 920. Price is likely to be close, 20 or 30 below or so. If it can do better, then when/if Phenom II FX comes around, things will really get interesting.


    I don't think this can directly compete with the i7 920. Considering the 940 competed with the Q9450 this should compete with the Q9550. AMD never made PII to compete with Bloomfield. And this should sell a bit cheaper since it's clocked more and consumes more power and the overclocking percentage is not as much as the Q9550(the newer socket ones). Anyways as PII 940 it should win in a few benchies....
  • 1 Hide
    zedx , March 19, 2009 4:14 AM
    MuckeFor Upgrading an existing PC: yes. For building a new one: no. DDR3 is already pretty close to DDR2 in price, and the lower voltage makes a real difference in the power consumption (the last benchmark I saw had a Phenom II 810 with DDR2 against the same CPU with DDR3 -- the difference was 20Watt in idle, 40Watt when used).Rumors say that AMD had trouble making a memory controller that supports DDR2 _AND_ DDR3. But they didn't want to push back the entire generation, so they brought just DDR2 first.


    Which benchmark did you see? Or did you mean 2 watt and 4 watt? Or probably they were using different mobos or some settings like power saving were on.
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/16382/12
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 19, 2009 7:49 AM
    Nice, I might use this in a friend's build.
  • 1 Hide
    trinix , March 19, 2009 11:23 AM
    very nice, amd is finally punching back, maybe it's not as good as the i7 lineup now, but they aren't a bad option anymore, especially when you consider the price and the option to just drop another one in an existing am2+ board.

    Let's hope they can keep this up and make a few faster ones too.
  • 1 Hide
    gnesterenko , March 19, 2009 6:28 PM
    zedxI don't think this can directly compete with the i7 920. Considering the 940 competed with the Q9450 this should compete with the Q9550. AMD never made PII to compete with Bloomfield. And this should sell a bit cheaper since it's clocked more and consumes more power and the overclocking percentage is not as much as the Q9550(the newer socket ones). Anyways as PII 940 it should win in a few benchies....


    Yes, but the 940 was also an AM2+ socket CPU and was limited to DDR2. Not saying that this automatically makes the 955 able to compete with with the i7 920, however there is more to this jump then 200MHz, its also new memory and faster communication between parts. So the performance increase should be more apparent on an AM3 mobo with DDR3 then just dropping one in in place of a 940. Possible to compete with i7? I think so. Probable? Maybe not, we'll have to wait for benches.

    The real question is - Am I going to sweat a 5%-10% difference in non-gaming performance when the 955 is by far fast enough to drive my 4870x2 to the performance levels I need? I, like most folk out there, don't do much video rendering and editing or much large file compression and swapping. And that I think is the only reason to go for a higher priced i7 over an 945 or 955. Everything else I do on a day to day basis is going to be either hard drive or GPU limited, not CPU.

    Plus, why would I give more money to the top dog in a 2 dog fight? Competition breeds creativity and lowers prices. I and the entire PC enthusiast community would benefit from a stronger, richer AMD - so thats where I'm putting my money. And besides, once I make use of that unlocked multiplier and push the CPU to 4GHz on air, that boost the i7 920 will seem even less relevant.

    But yes, I'd really like to see that fabled FX processor line return in full force. I mean, if these chips are overclocking to 4GHz on air, there is no reason that AMD can't test their chips, pick out the best ones, clock em at 3.5 or 3.6, slap an FX sticker on it and call it a day. Naturally I hope they put a little more work into it then that, but the point stands - if the CPU can overclock so easily, why not just sell a higher-clocked CPU?

    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2009 3:37 PM
    I think we're at a place where AMD and intel should focus on improving the PC for either gaming or server purposes.

    The PC today is more then powerful enough to run about any program any business would run, apart from servers with several hundreds of connections at a time, or gaming pc's which need acceleration in transfert between CPU and graphic card, memory and are in need of faster CPU/GPU s.

    Many games we knew in the past would be nice to see running under a DX10 environment, with so many more effects and details as we never had before!

    With the hardware capable of running even the most demanding games, and affordable within a certain budget,I think it would be the wisest to focus on those areas.
    Improvements that will not really benefit either gaming or server, aren't really necessary.

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