B2 Stepping - TLB Bug Is Still Around
In November of last year, AMD introduced the Phenom CPU, its first quad-core processor. The 2.4 GHz model was meant to launch as the flagship, but the chipmaker had to cancel it at the very last minute, due to a bug in the Translation Lookaside Buffer (TLB). Due to this error, there is an increased chance that the Phenom may crash the system under very rare and unusual circumstances. This may occur when lines of code are transformed into physical addresses in the L3 cache, while there is simultaneously a large amount of data traffic. To put your mind at ease, let us say at this point that this is a scenario that does not occur with normal desktop applications. Also, we didn't encounter this phenomenon during any of our tests. Nonetheless, AMD decided to play it safe and not sell any Phenom processors running faster than 2.30 GHz.
The Phenom 9600 Black Edition continues to use this faulty B2 stepping, which we can't really understand given that AMD sells this CPU specifically as an overclocking part. Currently, there are three Phenom models, all of which use the B2 stepping.
|Overview of Phenom Models|
|Phenom 9900||B3||June 2008|
|Phenom 9700||B3||April 2008|
|Phenom 9600 BE||B2||now|