Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition: Vitals And Overclocking
As we've already mentioned, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is an update to a familiar design. In fact, AMD readily admits that the silicon belongs to the same revision used to enable its Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, running at 3.2 GHz. To that end, it centers on a 45nm manufacturing process, it features a 6MB L3 cache, boasts Cool'n'Quiet 3.0 technology, and better branch prediction than the first-generation Phenom family.
Like its predecessors, the Phenom II X4 965 sports 64KB of L1 data and instruction cache per core, plus 512KB L2 cache per core, to complement the shared L3.
An integrated 128-bit DDR2/DDR3 memory controller (running at 2 GHz by default) interfaces with a pair of 64-bit channels. If you're using the X4 965 on an AM2+ motherboard, speeds of up to DDR2-1066 are officially available. If you're using it on an AM3 platform, you can install DDR3-1333, though it should be noted that only one module per channel works at that frequency. And whereas AMD shipped its Phenom II X4 940 with a 1,800 MHz HyperTransport link, the X4 965 accelerates that to 2 GHz--just like the X4 955 before it.
The chip's nominal voltage range is .825V-1.425V, so we won't be surprised if power consumption falls within the previous flagship's ballpark. Because it runs at 3.4 GHz, however, AMD is rating the X4 965 at 140W instead of the 125W used in previous flagship Phenom IIs.
|Socket AM3/AM2+ Processors|
|Model||Frequency||L3 Cache||Voltage||Model #’s||Socket|
|Phenom II X4 965 BE||3.4 GHz||6 MB||.0825-1.425V||Tray: HDZ965FBK4DGI; PIB: HDZ965FBGIBOX||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 955 BE||3.2 GHz||6 MB||0.875-1.5V||Tray: HDZ955FBK4DGI;PIB: HDZ955FBGIBOX||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 945||3.0 GHz||6 MB||0.875-1.5V||Tray: HDX945FBK4DGI;PIB: HDX945FBGIBOX||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 910||2.6 GHz||6 MB||0.875-1.425V||Tray: HDX910WFK4DGI||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 810||2.6 GHz||4 MB||0.875-1.425V||Tray: HDX810WFK4FGI; PIB: HDX810WFGIBOX||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 805||2.5 GHz||4 MB||0.875-1.425V||Tray: HDX805WFK4FGI||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X3 720 BE||2.8 GHz||6 MB||0.850-1.425V||Tray: HDZ720WFK3DGI; PIB: HDZ720WFGIBOX||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X3 710||2.6 GHz||6 MB||0.875-1.425V||Tray: HDX710WFK3DGI; PIB: HDX710WFGIBOX||AM3, AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 940 BE||3.0 GHz||6 MB||0.875-1.5V||Tray: HDZ940XCJ4DGI; PIB: HDZ940XCGIBOX||AM2+, AM2|
|Phenom II X4 920||2.8 GHz||6 MB||0.875-1.5V||Tray: HDX920XCJ4DGI; PIB: HDX920XCGIBOX||AM2+, AM2|
In past Phenom II reviews, we’ve stuck to AMD’s processor-in-box solution for our overclocking efforts, very consistently falling short of the 4 GHz level so many enthusiasts aim for with flagship CPUs. Thermalright was kind enough to send over the Socket AM3-compatible bracket for its Ultra 120 Extreme, which we’ve started using in reviews.
Yes, we know Phenom II scales well with better cooling, doesn’t suffer from a “cold bug,” and will run in excess of 6 GHz. But high-end air cooling is really as aggressive as most enthusiasts are willing to go, with the exception of those running water. Even there, room temperature is as much as you can hope for.
Using 1.5V on Asus’ M4A79T Deluxe—already a fairly aggressive voltage setting—we were able to hit 4 GHz with the 3.4 GHz Phenom II X4 965. That setting was unstable, though, and we scaled back to 3.9 GHz. Unfortunately, crashes in a couple of our benchmarks forced us to drop back to 3.8 GHz, where we were able to complete the full suite of tests. The top result in each forthcoming chart reflects the performance improvement of adding 400 MHz to AMD’s new flagship.