AMD Phenom II X4: 45nm Benchmarked

Socket AM3 And DDR3 RAM

DDR3 RAM and AM3 Socket

The Phenom II was developed for the AM2+ socket. Nevertheless, it remains backward-compatible with AM2 (as do other new AMD CPUs) and works well with DDR2 RAM. In a few months, AMD will be presenting an AM3 version of its Phenom II processor. This variant will work with faster DDR3 RAM, but to maintain backward compatibility with AM2 and AM2+ sockets, even this model will include a DDR2 RAM interface.

Support For DDR3 RAM And Socket AM3

The memory controller in the Phenom II supports DDR2 modules at clock rates of up to 1066 MHz. The upcoming AM3 model includes DDR3 support as well: at a minimum, AMD plans to support DDR3-1333 in this new offering. The following table provides an overview of the various Phenom models and their memory compatibilities.

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SupportPhenomPhenom IIPhenom II
Memory Interface (s)DDR2DDR2DDR2, DDR3
Sockets SupportedAM2, AM2+AM2, AM2+AM2, AM2+, AM3

The Future Belongs to the 880G Chipset with Socket AM3 for DDR3 Support

AMD plans to introduce the 880G chipset along with the AM3 version of the Phenom II processor. In addition to support for DDR3 RAM, this chipset will include a few other new functions as well. The northbridge will be equipped with a Radeon 4000-class graphics chip and be granted control over its own video RAM. This chipset also adds support for DirectX 10.1 and the UVD2.0 unified video decoder, which in turn provide hardware support for MPEG2, H.264, and VC1 processing. Through a switch to 55 nm technology, energy consumption is supposed to remain aggressive. This is also the first time the southbridge SB710 will come into play; it includes 12 USB 2.0 and six SATA ports with RAID capability. We’ve also been told to expect some 880G motherboards with support for first-generation Phenom processors, presumably built around the AM2+ socket.

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ChipsetAMD 780G AMD 880G
Technology55 nm55 nm
Integrated GraphicsHD-3xxx seriesHD-4xxx series
Hybrid GraphicsYesYes
UVD Video1.0: MPEG2 H.264 VC12.0: MPEG2 H.264 VC1
SouthbridgeSB600, SB700SB710
USB 2.01212
USB 1.122
  • one-shot
    YAY!, The day has come! Haven't read it yet. I am excited to see what it brings!
  • firedogevan
    why focus on the q6600... wouldn't the q9550 or 9650 be a more accurate comparison given their respective locations in the product lineup?
  • dechy
    Yeah, the price comparison table should of included a Q9550, which costs same as i7 920 but with the lower mobo/ram combo price.

    Ends up being the same price as the AMD bundle, but with a good more performance... there goes the whole "AMD price/performance" aspect of this chip.
  • one-shot
    Great review. Maybe some overclocking later? There were some pretty high claims about its overclocking potential. I'll wait for AM3 before I retire my E6750.
  • cangelini
    Coming up soon one-shot--I was working on that one =)
  • V3NOM
    who cares about performance/watt? PRICE/PERFORMANCE is the big deal
  • The Q9xxx series would trump the PhenomII in all the categories listed above. THG, it was downright *criminal* to have not included the Yorkfield chips in your performance per dollar and performance per watt analysis.
  • nashville
    hey bert/tom's:
    good write up: thought id comment on i7 watts:
    "we measured the power consumption directly from the 12 volt rail that supplied the CPU", i read somewhere the only i7 core logic gets power from 12v rail, the uncore/cache part somewhere else. if this is true, you going to do another measurements?
  • kirvinb
    I'm so happy to see Intel has some competetion. While these new processors are not mind blowing, they offer some decent performance at the price given. I am sure this will lower the price of the q9400 and q9550, which is exactly what I want to see. Maybe even the i7s price will lower and maybe we will be back in the good days..where intel and amd flipped sides of the powerhouse like every 6 months..!! Good Write Up..
  • jj463rd
    On the forums someone mentioned "why did they use DDR2-800 RAM when DDR2-1066 would give better performance for the Phenom II".Wouldn't this skew the benchmarks by a little bit (perhaps 2 to 3%)?