AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition: New Hope?

Overlocking By 13.04% - 2.60 GHz

Our Phenom 9600 Black Edition review sample uses a stock core voltage of 1.250 V. We were able to increase the CPU's frequency from 2.30 GHz to 2.60 GHz without having to raise the voltage. Overclocked by 13.04%, our Phenom 9600 Black Edition was completely stable.

Prime95 stable at 1.250 V

At its default frequency of 2.30 GHz, the Phenom 9600 uses a memory divider of 7, resulting in a memory frequency of DDR2-766. Overclocking the CPU to 2.60 GHz does not yet allow us to use the next smallest divider, so the memory speed drops to DDR2-742. An internals protection mechanism incorporated into the CPU prevents the memory from running at more than DDR2-800 speed.

Of course, you are still able to reach a higher memory clock speed by overclocking the FSB / Hypertransport bus. However, since the Black Edition processors come with an unlocked multiplier, this method does not make much sense. The Phenom's memory controller also supports SLI functionality for memory if the RAM offers it. This feature is exclusive to the more expensive modules, though.

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Phenom Memory Dividers
CPU FrequencyDivider 5Divider 6Divider 7
2600 MHzDDR2-1040DDR2-866DDR2-742
2300 MHzDDR2-920DDR2-766DDR2-657

Since the CPU limits the memory speed to a maximum frequency of DDR2-800, the memory speed defaults to DDR2-766 at 2.3 GHz, and DDR2-742 at 2.6 GHz.

The memory runs 12 MHz (24 MHz DDR) slower as a result of the Phenom 9600 BE being overclocked to 2.60 GHz.

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Phenom 9600 Black Edition @ 2.60 GHz
CPU Frequency2.60 GHz (+ 13.04%)
internal FSB/HTT200 MHz / 1800 MHz
Core Voltagedefault (1.250 V)
Memory Divider2600:7
Memory FrequencyDDR2-742 (371 MHz)
Memory LatencyCL 4.0-4-4-12
  • 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.