AMD Phenom II X4 955 AM3 CPU Reviewajmatson - April 22, 2009
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AMD has been busy with their motherboard chipset and processor releases this year. At CES, we took a look at the new Phenom II series beginning with the Phenom II X4 940, which was an AM2+ processor with a lot of attitude and a new level of performance and overclocking ability than we have seen from the Phenom series CPUs. Fast forward a bit, and AMD has been releasing socket AM3 processors, which support the faster DDR3 memory standard. Today we are going to be taking a look at one new AM3 processor, the AMD Phenom II X4 955. The new Phenom II 955 processor takes on the success of the Phenom II 940 and builds on it for faster, bleeding-edge performance. The AMD Phenom II X4 955 is clocked at 3.2GHz, and has a total L2 and L3 cache of 8MB. As with other AM3 processors, the Phenom II 955 can be used in both AM2+ and AM3 motherboards, supporting DDR2 1066MHz and DDR3 1333MHz memory on a 128-bit wide memory controller. Now that I have you drooling, let's move on and look closer at the CPU itself.
Since this is a review sample, the processor is shipped to us in an anti-static box sandwiched between foam. The retail versions will come in a more secure package, along with the heatsink fan for cooling.
At first glance, the Phenom II X4 955 looks like any other Phenom II - minus the different codes stamped on it for identification. Again, this is an AM3 processor, which has uses a 938 micro-pin grid array (micro-PGA) configuration. The Phenom II 955 is manufactured using a 45nm process, has 758 million transistors and has a maximum TDP of 125 watts, using a voltage of 0.875 - 1.5v with a maximum operating temperature of 68C degrees. The 955 also supports HyperTransport 3.0 for up to 37.3GB/s when paired with DDR3 1333MHz memory, and 33.1GB/s when paired with DDR2 1066MHz memory. The cache breakdown for L2 is 2MB, which translates to 512KB per core, and the L3 is 6MB shared between each of the cores. The Phenom II X4 955 is clocked at 3.2GHz (200MHz x 16), and is a "Black Edition" processor - meaning that the multiplier is unlocked, so higher overclocks can be attained with the right tweaking.
Now that we have explored the new processor, we can plug it in and see what this baby can do.