AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Review

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test Hardware
Processors
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (Deneb) 3.4 GHz, AM3, 2,000 MHz HT, 6 MB L3 Cache, Power-savings enabled

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (Deneb) 3.2 GHz, AM3, 2,000 MHz HT, 6 MB L3 Cache, Power-savings enabled

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (Heka) 2.8 GHz, AM2+, 2,000 MHz HT, 6 MB L3 Cache, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S (Yorkfield) 2.83 GHz, LGA 775, 1,333 MHz FSB, 12 MB L2, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7 920 (Bloomfield) 2.66 GHz, LGA 1366, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8 MB L3, Power-savings enabled
Motherboards
Asus M4A79T Deluxe (AM3) 790FX/SB750, BIOS 0066

Gigabyte EP45-UD3P (LGA 775) P45/ICH10R, BIOS F9

Asus P6T (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10R, BIOS 0502
Memory
Corsair 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ DDR3-1333

Corsair 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ DDR3-1333
Hard Drive
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300 GB 10,000 RPM SATA 3 Gb/s
Graphics
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 2 GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64, Service Pack 1
DirectX
DirectX 10
Platform Driver
Catalyst 9.7

Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.0.1012
Graphics Driver
Catalyst 9.7


By popular demand, we're setting aside the hardware from our 2009 reference platform to arm these test configurations with a Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card. Not only will this more-powerful board do a better job exposing potential platform bottlenecks (especially in gaming tests), but it's also an integral part of AMD's Dragon platform, which most folks seem interested in compiling.

Note also that we're using a Core 2 Quad Q9550S instead of the less-expensive Core 2 Quad Q9550. This is the model to which we have access. It performs exactly like a Q9550, but will affect our power measurements. This is mentioned in the analysis for power consumption.

Benchmarks and Settings

3D Games

Stalker: Clear Sky

Quality settings set to high, 1920x1200/1680x1050, Benchmark tool, average of all four scenarios

Far Cry 2

Quality settings set to high, 1920x1200/1680x1050, latest Steam version, in-game benchmark (Ranch medium).

Left 4 Dead

Quality settings set to max, 1920x1200/1680x1050, latest Steam version, timed demo.

H.A.W.X.

High Quality Setting, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, DirectX 10, Ambient Occlusion: High, Patch 1.2

Audio Encoding

iTunes

Version: 8.1.0.52, Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98 (64-bit), Audio CD ""Terminator II" SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160 Kb/s

Video Encoding

TMPEG 4.6

Version: 4.5.1.254, Import File: "Terminator II" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.5

Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-Threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search

XviD 1.2.1

Display encoding status=off

Mainconcept Reference 1.6.1

MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core

Applications

Autodesk 3ds Max 2009 (64-bit)

Version: 2009, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

WinRAR 3.90 Beta 1

Version 3.90 Beta 1, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

WinZip 12

Version 12, Compression=Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646

SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3

CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark

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125 comments
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • AMDnoob
    ugh... i want to love AMD but I'm not sure this cuts it. I mean, if you get an AMD Phenom II 955 and the 965, they're completely identical except for multiplier. And you can get both processors to 3.8Ghz most of the time. So really whats new???? The 965 has just got a faster stock frequency. But anybody who buys a 955 or 965 is prolly an enthusiast that will end up OCing them to ~3.8Ghz. So just go for the cheaper 955. The 965 sounds like AMD is trying to make something "new", but it's just another Phenom II 45nm chip w/ the same 6mb cache, etc. They need to release a new line for these up coming Intel chips.
    20
  • Nintendork
    core2duo was released in 2006.

    The AMD owning saga started in 2000 with the Athlons. A bit more performance at same mhz but for less price. The only con was the lack of quality mobos.
    20
  • Raidur
    AMD has a looong way to go. :(
    18
  • Other Comments
  • XD_dued
    Hmmm...i hope the rest of the OC better. I also hope that AMD won't have to price cut too much to compete with i5. Either way, AMD really needs something new and fast....Hopefully they'll do well with the dx11 cards.
    17
  • AMDnoob
    ugh... i want to love AMD but I'm not sure this cuts it. I mean, if you get an AMD Phenom II 955 and the 965, they're completely identical except for multiplier. And you can get both processors to 3.8Ghz most of the time. So really whats new???? The 965 has just got a faster stock frequency. But anybody who buys a 955 or 965 is prolly an enthusiast that will end up OCing them to ~3.8Ghz. So just go for the cheaper 955. The 965 sounds like AMD is trying to make something "new", but it's just another Phenom II 45nm chip w/ the same 6mb cache, etc. They need to release a new line for these up coming Intel chips.
    20
  • hunter315
    Excellent timing, i was just wondering when i was going to see a performance review for the new 965. Though i would like to see a benchmark comparing the overclocking potential of the 955 to the 965, im curious if its just a higher binned processor or the same one just clocked higher.
    7
  • megamanx00
    I better pick up the 955 BE before they are all gone. Doesn't seem like the 965 has any advantage other than the stock clock, and of course I don't plan on leaving it at stock :D.
    5
  • chaohsiangchen
    Good article! Judging from what AMD did with 65nm Phenom, they would perhaps release 125W version in early 2010. However, that's pure projection. I will probably get this one and wait for AMD 32nm. Somebody got to support the underdog. Unfortunately, this is the same situation AMD faced during mid 2006 all over again. Intel 32nm is going to be awesome, and it seems that AMD is going to be left without an answer in H1 2010 until they can upgrade production for 32nm.
    5
  • anonymous x
    but that Q9550 can overclock well, to the level of the phenom II 965 here and beyond, and clock for clock it is faster than phenom II.
    Can't wait for a AM3 vs LGA 1156 battle soon!
    1
  • Raidur
    AMD has a looong way to go. :(
    18
  • steel_icon
    Will this run on an old AsuS Crosshair NV590A-SLI motherboard? I surely do hope so...
    -2
  • bk420
    Pleasant surprise. I love you AMD!
    3
  • Nogard
    wow, those are some pretty ordinary results for AMD.
    1
  • Why_Me
    AMD got rox0red by Intel.
    -8
  • Nintendork
    Why_Me

    In what?
    Games, your everiday programs? I think not.

    Your useless synthetic benchs? As it would matter...


    Actually the prices on street are:

    PII 945 95w $169
    PII 955 125w $199

    *newegg
    7
  • Anonymous
    intel fanboism, dont like it
    8
  • Why_Me
    205977 said:
    Why_Me In what? Games, your everiday programs? I think not. Your useless synthetic benchs? As it would matter... Actually the prices on street are: PII 945 95w $169 PII 955 125w $199 *newegg


    I'l explain my comment. The i7 920 can easily be over clocked to 4.0GHz or better (air cooling)...especially with these new D0 stepping i7 920's that are commonly hitting 4.4GHz on air cooling. The i7 in the review was run at stock speed. Down below is an i7 920 OEM that goes for $251.88 w/the promo code. Over clock the 17 920 and it destroy's that AMD 955 even more so than what was showed in that review. AMD is moving backwards, not forward.

    http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-920 $271.88 Free Ground Shipping
    $20 off with Code MINIPICO20 Intel Core i7 Processor i7-920 2.66GHz 8MB LGA1366 CPU, OEM
    -8
  • ravenware
    Where did this thing come from?
    I must be out of the loop.

    Not bad,I guess but it is only closing the gap between the Phenom chips and the i7 920 in minute levels.

    I want to see AMD bitch slap intel like they did during the 2003-2006 era.
    9
  • Why_Me
    You have your years mixed up. AMD was owning Intel way before 2003, and it came to an end in 2004 when Intel came out the the core2duo. Since then Intel hasn't looked back.
    -10
  • Korok
    Would anyone buy this over the i7? Not seeing any reason why
    2
  • Nintendork
    core2duo was released in 2006.

    The AMD owning saga started in 2000 with the Athlons. A bit more performance at same mhz but for less price. The only con was the lack of quality mobos.
    20
  • zerapio
    C2D came out in late August 2006
    10
  • Nintendork
    And also there is the 945 95 + biostar 790GX combo @225 on newegg. Difficult to beat that.
    3