AMD Phenom 9600 Black Box Edition ReviewFormer staff writer - February 24, 2008
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A black box, for many, is the flight recorder that is placed on airplanes so if there were to be a catastrophic accident, the authorities might be able to determine what the possible cause was. Other black boxes protect valuables such as safes and vaults. In the computer hardware industry, a black box usually means special edition, something that the product does which makes it different than what it normally might do. Some products may come with a special heatsink that will aid in cooling the component better than the regular edition, some may have additional features, but when we talk about processors, most of the time it refers to a special stepping to aid in overclocking or even an unlocked multiplier.
The AMD Phenom 9600 Black Box Edition is one of the recent Black Box Editions AMD has launched in the last year. A couple month back we reviewed the Phenom 9900. If you would like to look at the performance of this processor on the "Spider" platform take a look. The 9600 Black Box Edition has an unlocked multiplier which may or may not allow the user to overclock the Phenom without having to raise the Hypertransport Multiplier. For example, on a normal processor you may have a multiplier of 11.5 x the HT of 200, which would give you a clock speed of 2.3GHz. The AMD Phenom 9600 has an unlocked multiplier, so instead of raising the HT multiplier from 200, you can raise the clock multiplier from 11.5 to achieve an overclock. Are there benefits when overclocking a processor with an unlocked multiplier over a processor that has a locked multiplier that needs the HT raised to overclock? Let's find out.
The Phenom 9600 Black Box Edition comes packaged in none other than a....Black Box.