The AMD Phenom II X4 965BE has been the fastest quad-core AMD processor for the better part of a year. All of that may change come September, if the rumors are true, when AMD launches the Phenom II X4 970 quad-core. The 970 will be a Black Edition so it will have an unlocked multiplier and be clocked in at 3.5GHz, which is just a small 100MHz bump over the 965BE. However, the really interesting part of the rumor is that the 970 may come in two versions. One being the typical Deneb quad-core while the other will be a Zosma quad-core. The Zosma version is the quad-core variant of the six-core Thuban so this could mean the 970 will be able to be unlocked to a six-core processor. This could be the fabled replacement to the now dead Phenom II X4 960T which was supposedly able to unlock the two extra cores so it will be interesting to see if the 970 comes to fruition and in the two versions. Even if there is no Zosma version the 970BE will surely be the last Deneb processor as AMD is preparing to launch its Fusion Llano in the first part of 2011.
The Phenom II X4 970BE is expected to be released on September 21st for $200 which is the same price as the six-core 1055T.