AMD TWKR Edition CPU PreviewThe Smith - June 30, 2009
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On June 13, my colleague MrAlex informed us that a new processor from AMD called the TWKR Edition has appeared. Some people hoped for a competitor to the high-end i7s from Intel, whereas some others guessed it is simply a binned Phenom II and that it would be cherry picked for its overclocking ability.
Well, OverclockersClub got its hands on one. This limited edition processor is presented in a nice little metal box as if it were a jewel.
The TWKR is clearly identified on its heatspreader as the Phenom II 42. Underneath that It is written that it is not for sale. In fact, the processors were made specially for the extreme overclocking crowd since they can reach the highest frequencies the Phenom II architecture can sustain. This processor is provided "as-is" and there is no warranty on it. Units will be distributed by AMD only through promotional means. As one can see in the following picture, the processor looks like it has already been tested. Some thermal paste is remaining on the edge. Is it a cherry picked Phenom II, like some people thought it would be? The answer is no. It is very different than a X4 955. First, the PCB used is paler than previous AM3 Phenom IIs, as one can see in the second picture. It has that same green as the X4 940 and the older series. Does that mean it is AM2+ only? Fortunately, no.
Now, let's slap it into our test setup and see what CPU-z says about it.
Unfortunately, CPU-z detects it wrong. It is NOT an Opteron Shanghai. What is interesting in this screenshot though is that the voltage is very low. That 1.176V is the Auto setting that's coming from the processor VID. It can run at the 955's speed without any glitch on this voltage, however when the optimized settings are loaded in the BIOS, it defaults to 2GHz. It does not really have a stock frequency, as its sole intention is to be overclocked.
What can be gleaned from this is that the TWKR Edition is a high leakage part, which means it has a higher static current, drain to drain. This makes it an excellent processor for overclocking since it can sustain very high voltages when combined with the excellent scaling of the architecture at very low temperatures that we have seen since the X4 940. So now, let's see what we can get out of that TWKR.