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Conclusion: Take It To The Limit One More Time

AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Review: The New Six-Core Flagship
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Yes, the AMD speed bumps are here again. In what has almost become a bi-monthly tradition, we're starting to take the company's increasing clock rates and seemingly-static price tags for granted.

Unfortunately, we can only overclock our Phenom II X6 1100T sample to 4.0 GHz. While this is a respectable speed for a hexa-core CPU, it’s the same ceiling that our older Phenom II X6 1090T would hit. When you consider that the realistic cap for the Phenom II X6 CPU on air cooling is around 4 GHz, and that the Phenom II X6 1100T's Turbo CORE clock is already set to 3.7 GHz, it's pretty apparent that these speed bumps can't go on forever. In fact, we remain convinced that the Sandy Bridge launch will put even more pressure on AMD. What can the company do at that point? It's hard to say.

Having said that, AMD offers plenty of entry-level processors that could be scaled up to run faster at similar prices, if it needed. The Athlon II line is capped much closer to 3 GHz at the moment, and the Phenom II X4 processors have some wiggle room. The Phenom II X6 base clock could certainly be increased on future models, even if it had to leave the Turbo CORE limit in place. But all of these possible outcomes skate the fact that the company's future rides on the success of its Fusion initiative.

But Fusion isn't here yet, so let's concentrate on the here and now: the 3.0 GHz Phenom II X6 1075T is $200 at the time of writing, but it performs better than the Core i5-750 in most applications, and is generally on par with the Core i7-920 in our benchmarking suite. Priced $35 higher, the Phenom II X6 1190T Black Edition sports an unlocked CPU multiplier for overclockers and is just about as likely to hit 4 GHz as the Phenom II X6 1100T flagship. Enthusiasts will likely consider the 1090T about as good as the newer chip priced higher. Finally, $265 gets you AMD's fastest hexa-core desktop CPU $600 below Intel’s entry-level six-core model.

Don’t foget the new Phenom II X2 565 with its 6MB of cache, high 3.4 GHz clock, unlocked multiplier, and (if you’re lucky) the potential for triple- or quad-core operation at $115 dollars. Last but not least, the $87 Athlon II X3 455 promises a speedy 3.3 GHz clock speed and triple-core ability for well under a hundred dollars, making it an interesting starting point for a budget PC with exceptional potential.

Of course, Intel’s Core i5 and Core i7 processors aren't slouches, and we would be remiss to ignore the overclocking potential of Intel's more advanced 32 nm manufacturing node compared to the 45 nm process AMD continues to massage. But the attractive AMD price/performance ratio is undeniable: at stock clocks, the Phenom II X6 and Athlon II X3 are solid contenders when it comes to threaded applications and budget computing, respectively.

Fusion and Sandy Bridge might be around the corner, but AMD isn’t waiting for the next generation to deliver value. The Athlon II and Phenom II lines continue to offer very impressive performance for the price. Would we recommend an upgrade today, though, knowing that Sandy Bridge is a couple of weeks away, and the first Brazos-based CPUs are going to be unveiled at CES? If you can, it certainly seems like a better idea to wait. After all, the computing landscape could very well change in less than a month.

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  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2010 8:47 AM
    dEAneWith this data Sandy Bridge will not put pressure on AMD it will kill it. I think the only thing left for AMD is to lower the price much further.


    you are wrong sir, completely wrong! AMD have not looked this strong in years, they are on the brink of becoming really profitable again and are releasing great products at even better prices!

    Througt the Phenom I and C2D years all my customer builds were basically Intel, but since Phenom II and Athlon II I have built AMD for 90% of my clients with the odd exception of the Monster builds using i7 and x58 boards!

    Yes Intel has faster chips, yest sandy bridge will be great, so will Bulldozer and no, most people wanting new computers could not care less whats inside the PC, as long as it does what they want, which for most is still basic functions of Internet, E-Mail, online streaming, a few films and Music storage with a little Document creation! So here for the vast majority price matters more than pure absolute speed and AMD win very big in this sector!

    Seriously though I am no AMD fanboy and have never supported either exclusively because that would just be stupid, but right now, anyone who loves the modern age of computers should support AMD right now so as to keep the healthy competition alive because without AMD Intel will basically tank big time and the same for the opposite as well, we do not need a monopoly in desktop processor market!

    Finally, I can pick up 1055t and decent Mobo for under £180 allowing me an overclock of 3.8Ghz on six cores, the cheapest i7 x 58 is around £210 without Mobo! yes faster, but moneys worth considering what the 1055 can do, umm no!
  • 13 Hide
    tacoslave , December 9, 2010 5:02 AM
    im gonna wait for bulldozer
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2010 7:04 AM

    Intel is far from the giant from 2007, with massive bribing of retailers. They lost $1.25B to AMD for the "sell only INTEL, NO AMD, and get free INTEL processors as rebates".

    Today, Intel locks NVidia/VIA/SIS from the LGA1156 & LGA1366 platforms to protect their own monopoly. #$%^^&(^&@#!!

    Many motherboards companies supported INTEL for the past 10 years. Today, Intel is killing them one by one. (YES, ABIT is dead)
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    Mark Heath , December 9, 2010 4:23 AM
    I wish Intel would do something like this for all (or at least most) of their processors.(the speed bumps with same price model)
  • 6 Hide
    fstrthnu , December 9, 2010 4:28 AM
    A pretty good effort from AMD, but Sandy Bridge is only 2 or 3 months away by now. Of course, this is just a stopgap measure till Bulldozer comes; still, when AMD is only just catching up to Intel in terms of stock performance NOW (even though it has slightly better value)...
  • 8 Hide
    sideshowbob32 , December 9, 2010 4:40 AM
    Great article I just ordered a 1090T for m old am2+ set up, I look forward to it and this article makes me want it more!! Glad to see amd is doing great.
  • 13 Hide
    tacoslave , December 9, 2010 5:02 AM
    im gonna wait for bulldozer
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2010 5:24 AM
    Could this be any more unremarkable or unnecessary a product? Might as well grab an i5, or one of the existing X6s, or wait for SB, or Bulldozer... this is just pointless.
  • 3 Hide
    buzznut , December 9, 2010 5:47 AM
    I'm waiting as well I think. I'd have to upgrade my mobo to run a X6 anyway since Biostar chose not to support it with my current board. I think the 1090T is a great value at $230 though. Pretty sweet.
  • 0 Hide
    sudeshc , December 9, 2010 5:52 AM
    thats more like it, increase those stock speeds and the we will have more chance to to get even more performance by overclocking :D 
  • 5 Hide
    FunSurfer , December 9, 2010 6:31 AM
    It would be nice to see in the gaming benchmark games that have intensive use of all the CPU's cores like GTA4, BFBC2, RFG (@ large building destruction).
  • -2 Hide
    dEAne , December 9, 2010 6:39 AM
    With this data Sandy Bridge will not put pressure on AMD it will kill it. I think the only thing left for AMD is to lower the price much further.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2010 7:04 AM

    Intel is far from the giant from 2007, with massive bribing of retailers. They lost $1.25B to AMD for the "sell only INTEL, NO AMD, and get free INTEL processors as rebates".

    Today, Intel locks NVidia/VIA/SIS from the LGA1156 & LGA1366 platforms to protect their own monopoly. #$%^^&(^&@#!!

    Many motherboards companies supported INTEL for the past 10 years. Today, Intel is killing them one by one. (YES, ABIT is dead)
  • 2 Hide
    metallifux , December 9, 2010 7:29 AM
    If AMD would release some AM3+ motherboards i would be building a new PC right now with one of these bad boys, but no they insist on waiting until they have bulldozer ready.... BAD BUSINESS ME THINKS
  • 0 Hide
    tony singh , December 9, 2010 7:42 AM
    I am tired of waiting for AMD to bring another 'athlon64' to lock horns with intel ,If it can match & defeat nvidia , why not intel ? I know what a giant intel is BUT it is not out of this world..
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , December 9, 2010 8:47 AM
    dEAneWith this data Sandy Bridge will not put pressure on AMD it will kill it. I think the only thing left for AMD is to lower the price much further.


    you are wrong sir, completely wrong! AMD have not looked this strong in years, they are on the brink of becoming really profitable again and are releasing great products at even better prices!

    Througt the Phenom I and C2D years all my customer builds were basically Intel, but since Phenom II and Athlon II I have built AMD for 90% of my clients with the odd exception of the Monster builds using i7 and x58 boards!

    Yes Intel has faster chips, yest sandy bridge will be great, so will Bulldozer and no, most people wanting new computers could not care less whats inside the PC, as long as it does what they want, which for most is still basic functions of Internet, E-Mail, online streaming, a few films and Music storage with a little Document creation! So here for the vast majority price matters more than pure absolute speed and AMD win very big in this sector!

    Seriously though I am no AMD fanboy and have never supported either exclusively because that would just be stupid, but right now, anyone who loves the modern age of computers should support AMD right now so as to keep the healthy competition alive because without AMD Intel will basically tank big time and the same for the opposite as well, we do not need a monopoly in desktop processor market!

    Finally, I can pick up 1055t and decent Mobo for under £180 allowing me an overclock of 3.8Ghz on six cores, the cheapest i7 x 58 is around £210 without Mobo! yes faster, but moneys worth considering what the 1055 can do, umm no!
  • 0 Hide
    blackjellognomes , December 9, 2010 10:49 AM
    tony singhI am tired of waiting for AMD to bring another 'athlon64' to lock horns with intel ,If it can match & defeat nvidia , why not intel ? I know what a giant intel is BUT it is not out of this world..
    I know people who avoid AMD religiously. I also know people who have never heard of AMD. With all the support they get, Intel has the funds for R&D that AMD can only wish for. It's no surprise that it's all Intel at the high-end of the CPU spectrum and not AMD. AMD only "defeated" Nvidia because they could afford ATI's technology.
  • -5 Hide
    knowom , December 9, 2010 11:21 AM
    tony singhI am tired of waiting for AMD to bring another 'athlon64' to lock horns with intel ,If it can match & defeat nvidia , why not intel ? I know what a giant intel is BUT it is not out of this world..
    Nvidia is defeated...hardly they completely dominate the workstation/scientific segment where the highest profit is and are right on par basically in the gamer segment.

    Then of course they have that 1B settlement coming to them from Intel with perhaps a clause in it so they can buyout Via and start making x86 CPU's certainly wouldn't be surprised by that.

    AMD can barely stay afloat and has been treading water for quite awhile if Fusion doesn't pan out a merge with Nvidia would be it's only hopes of survival.
  • -4 Hide
    elbert , December 9, 2010 11:32 AM
    Think its time for AMD to combining 2 CPUs for 8 and 12 cores like they have on the server side but for AM3 motherboards. AMD would then have a 12 core black edition to match the i7's 6 core CPUs in performance and price. This would give AMD a fighting chance against Sandy Bridge until they get bulldozer.
  • 2 Hide
    notty22 , December 9, 2010 11:46 AM
    In a cpu review, you want to run game benchmarks to eliminate cpu performance.
    Yes, that makes sense/ not.
  • 1 Hide
    gxpbecker , December 9, 2010 12:22 PM
    Where's my bulldozer, refreshes are getting a bit old... not that i am really complaining though??
    lol
  • -6 Hide
    masterasia , December 9, 2010 1:12 PM
    Sorry AMD fanboys...not good enough. Took AMD 2 years to be almost where Intel was 2 years ago with the i7 920 (which is still top dawg and the best bang for your buck). The AMD chips still can't compete with an over clocked i7 920/930.

    I'm rooting for AMD to step their game. Can't wait to see what they have in bulldozer. If it's anything worthwhile, I might just switch back to AMD.

    These high end chips are for enthusiasts only, not even gamers. If you want to show off how much money you have then go for the best. It's just like a Toyota Corolla vs a Supra. They both get you from point A to point B, but you look good doing it in a Supra (chicks also dig you) and have higher risks (way higher insurance too) of getting pulled over or injury like Hulk Hogan's son, Nick.

    I'm a Supra guy...Always buy the best stuff. I have $1,000 golf clubs, but suck at it. I don't care, just wanna look good and show off my money.

    The point is, if AMD comes out with better stuff, I'll buy AMD.
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