AMD Phenom With B3 Stepping: First Look

CPU-Z Screenshots And Initial Results

The new Phenoms will offer faster clock speeds. While 2.4 GHz instead of 2.3 GHz isn't much of an increase, AMD promises more in the future

We installed the CPU, which was still cold from shipping, in the MSI board that we've already used in several previous tests. We decided to try our luck with the BIOS version installed on the board (v1.3) rather than search for a newer version. The reasons were twofold: on the one hand, it seemed unlikely that there would already be a new BIOS revision for an unreleased CPU; on the other hand, we wanted to see whether the new CPU would work as a drop-in replacement in an existing board without extra effort. In the case of our MSI MS-7376, aka K9GA2 Platinum, it turned out that we were able to get away with using the existing BIOS version.

The system started without any trouble and showed the expected performance in our initial batch of tests. We will publish more detailed results in a full review of the new stepping in a few weeks. Power consumption was also in line with expected results. Our review sample, which has yet to receive an official product number from AMD, runs 100 MHz faster than AMD's previously fastest chip, while power consumption was slightly higher as well. The other results met our expectations. Thus, we won't delve into any deeper discussions for now. Cool'n'Quiet seemed to be implemented and working as well (as seen in the screenshot below), but it is quite possible that a newer BIOS revision may also add some improvement.

The idle clock speed of the B3 Phenom remains at 1.2 GHz.

  • I just would like to comment that a BIOS upgrade for my eyes improved the performance of my CPU.

    I have the same configuration you guys have on your test machine and after I upgraded to the 1.4 Bios i noticed a considerable raise in performance. I started with bios 1.3 on a phenom 9600 BE, I felt a little dissapointed. Later upgraded to bios 1.4 and noticed a big difference, now I got a 9850 phenom and another k9a2 platinum at bios 1.3 and again felt disapointed. After the upgrade the machine is acting VERY different!

    If you go to MSI website and go to the k9a2 platinum site, it has a CPU unit compatibility and it shows that the new B3 processors must use Bios 1.4 for full compatibility.

    Just a comment, probably you guys already knew that but... just to remind.

    Paulo Basseto.