B2 Stepping - TLB Bug Is Still Around, Continued
Since the introduction of the quad-core line, many shops have continued to list the Phenom 9700 with its clock speed of 2.4 GHz - despite the fact that AMD will only ship this model once the revised B3 stepping is ready for prime time.
Using a setting in the BIOS, it is possible to deactivate the translation of program addresses by the CPU in the L3 cache, effectively preventing the TLB bug from striking. While this does cost a bit of performance, it makes the CPU 100% crash proof. Many motherboard companies offer new BIOS versions that include this new feature. Gigabyte, for example, plays it safe with its newest BIOS revision, turning the TLB erratum fix on. We would recommend disabling this feature again after updating to a new BIOS, or your Phenom processor will take a performance hit.
Gigabyte TLB-Bios (F3)
AMD plans to release the error-free B3 stepping in mid-April, which will allow for higher clock speeds. Once this happens, the Phenom 9900, a 2.60 GHz part, will be the first of this new line of faster Phenom CPUs.
The TLB option in Gigabyte's F3 BIOS.
MSI also sent us a BIOS version containing the TLB bug option. Finally, AMD's OverDrive tool also sports an option to circumvent the TLB bug.