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AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE: Same Speed, Less Power

Conclusion

Taken on its own, the new revision of AMD's Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition isn't particularly notable, but it was never meant to be. Taken in context, however, the chip plays its part in AMD's larger strategy of enabling an upgradable family of CPUs and socket interfaces. In fact, the Athlon II/Phenom II platform flexibility is a strategy that we find very attractive, and is probably the best thing AMD can do in its present circumstances.

The upcoming game-changer, of course, is Intel's upcoming Core i5 and Core i3 models, all sharing the same LGA 1156 socket used by today's Lynnfield-based Core i5 and i7 CPUs. Once these new processor arrive, Intel may be able to offer a platform with very similar upgrade characteristics as AMD's AM2+/AM3 solution, but with even more performance potential on the higher end of the spectrum.

The big question is, if the upcoming low-cost Core i3 and i5 models are dual-core CPUs able to handle two-threads per core, how well will they stand up against AMD's Athlon II and Phenom II X2, X3, and X4 models with up to four physical cores? Will these new Intel processors perform well enough to force further Phenom II price drops, or will the new models perform in the same ballpark, allowing AMD to keep its low-cost story intact?

Without a crystal ball, it's impossible to answer these questions. In the meantime, AMD needs to capitalize on its low-cost CPU dominance as much as possible to get consumers into the AMD upgrade path.

  • Every little bit of clockspeed and efficiency help out. I'm sure when Intel were testing their I7s they had to do some tweaking as well and later revisions had changes invoked. Hopefully we'll see phenom x6 soon and possibly a more refined architecture in future steppings.
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  • Silmarunya
    I'd like to see its power consumption being put against the i5's. They are both more than good enough for gaming, yet in Europe the price difference between a 965 and an i5 is far larger than in the US. So I'd like to know about other factors like power consumption and motherboard quality. An idea for a new article perhaps?
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  • In the year 2012 we shall see AMD challenging Intel in high-end category, by then Global Foundries Fab 2 should be in full-scale production . Also as times goes by Global Foundries will purchase more Semiconductor firms (they recently purchased Chartered Semiconductor).

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  • butcher
    a change for the better is always good

    its a bigger change than say the step from C0 to D0 with the 1366 I7's
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  • osse
    Well i kinda liked that on 1920x1080 the phII 965 beats the I7-940 at stock in 2 of 4 games, tie one, looses one with the 5870 at guru 3d review of phii 965.

    Its not like im a normal AMD fanboy, i just dont like monopolistisk tendenses, so as a builder i do have to know when i can tell u get the best rig with AMD or do u have to go to Intel.

    I still hope Toms and preferabel Cleave comes with a review when a cpu bottelneck 5850 and 5870 at best grapic settings. Hilbert shows us that the AThlon II 435 do bottelneck a 5870, but since 5850 is round 15% slower than 5870, even the athlII 435 at stock should be close to take advantage of a radeon 5850.
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  • cyberkuberiah
    Amd is trying hard , and we appreciate the efforts .
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  • osse
    Well my regular job is in economic, and not in laguage, as u can tell of my english skills, in order to give Intel real competion AMD need round 30-35 of the marked, why u can ask.

    Intels R&d last yr was as big as AMDs total sale, take in account that thay also fight Nvidia, so then u maybe understand why AMD is not best. If AMD drops farther down, what are we nerds left with, the answear should be clear to anyone that can think, we are left with only Intel.

    I do build riggs, guess round 100 over 18 yr, for friends and stuff, i do refuse to build Intel riggs, why ?, becouse of the marked situation, we lost cyris as a cpu vendor, if we loose AMD to, then my fellow nerds, we are in troubel. I do however never recomend an AMD built if Intel is clearly supperiour, therefor we builder need to know the limits. AS toms has stated in severual test, AMD is good at budget riggs, but how far up can an Athl II 435, an Phii 720 suppurt a grapfic card, well even the phii955 is dirt cheap here.
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  • Silmarunya
    True... AMD is going down too fast for my liking. However, ATI is performing quite well afaik, and AMD is showing hopeful signs. R&D is profitable and Global Foundries is nearly out of the red digits. They'll probably be the first to deliver affordable 6 cores as well, since Gulftown's prices will be through the roof I think.

    Still, that doesn't solve my issue as another potential builder: since AMD and Intel now make equally well performing CPU's (for gaming purposes, that is), is there a reason not to pick the cheaper AMD? Higher power consumption, or less well performing motherboards, or something along these lines?
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  • raptor550
    Nice use of a 1200watt PSU. Good to see that you really thought out this article by using a PSU so overpowered that it wouldn't be efficient. That is especially important when measuring total system efficiency.

    Try harder next time.
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  • cyberkuberiah
    Don WoligroskiWithout a crystal ball, it's impossible to answer these questions ...
    for speculation , in apps/games that really use 4 cores (x264/gta4), it would not be up to phenom II X4's and even Phenom II X3's .

    in apps/games that dont use more than two cores , it would take out every amd offering . although it would be "in line' upgrade for anyone with a core 2 duo , quads are getting more and more important . i also hope that the rumors of very high clock speeds/practical everyday use overclockability are true . lets all wait now !
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