AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition: New Hope?

B2 Stepping - TLB Bug Is Still Around, Continued

Since the introduction of the quad-core line, many shops have continued to list the Phenom 9700 with its clock speed of 2.4 GHz - despite the fact that AMD will only ship this model once the revised B3 stepping is ready for prime time.

Using a setting in the BIOS, it is possible to deactivate the translation of program addresses by the CPU in the L3 cache, effectively preventing the TLB bug from striking. While this does cost a bit of performance, it makes the CPU 100% crash proof. Many motherboard companies offer new BIOS versions that include this new feature. Gigabyte, for example, plays it safe with its newest BIOS revision, turning the TLB erratum fix on. We would recommend disabling this feature again after updating to a new BIOS, or your Phenom processor will take a performance hit.

Gigabyte TLB-Bios (F3)

AMD plans to release the error-free B3 stepping in mid-April, which will allow for higher clock speeds. Once this happens, the Phenom 9900, a 2.60 GHz part, will be the first of this new line of faster Phenom CPUs.

The TLB option in Gigabyte's F3 BIOS.

MSI also sent us a BIOS version containing the TLB bug option. Finally, AMD's OverDrive tool also sports an option to circumvent the TLB bug.

  • ShadowKai
    I think on page 14 the author meant:

    "When Cool'n'Quiet is deactivated, idle power consumption rises to 51 watts. The jump in power consumption at 2.70 GHz is a direct result of the core voltage increase from 1.250 V to 1.400 V."

    And the bars for Phenom 9600 BE and Phenom 9600 BE (CnC) should be switched around.
  • I think it's also important to mention the fact that Vista SP1 includes it's OWN TLB fix which overrides the bios setting of many boards. I used an app that works in conjunction with Crystal CPUID to change the MSR directly to deactivate this secondary TLB fix. It caused a dramatic improvement in performance; the quick and simple WinRAR bench went from 232 to ~1300 after the fix. Just think it's worth mentioning!
  • I think I may have found a new problem with this bug. I have a Phenom X4 9600, and have tried two different motherboards. The problem occurs when running Windows 7. BSOD with a message stating that the operating system did not receive an clock interupt signal from the second processor. At first I thought it was a bios problem, but have since had to replace the motherboard. Tried Windows 7 again after replacing the motherboard and still having the same problem.