AMD Phenom II X4 980 Processor Reviewajmatson - May 2, 2011
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There is an old saying that you can never have too much of a good thing. Well this is the case here with the latest of the AMD Phenom II X4 series processors. AMD has launched a number of Phenom II series processors with most of them being "refreshes". This means they are basically the same silicon in the lower clocked chips with a bit more juice squeezed out of them. Most consumers would question this type of release but there are a few things that make refreshes like these important for end users. First they drive down prices of the lower clocked chips which bring great bargains to those of us looking to update our systems. Second, AMD guarantees the speeds. Sure, anyone can take a Phenom II X4 965 and push the speeds with overclocking to match the newer chips but what happens if during the overclocking, you burn out your chip? You are out of luck. But, if you would have spent a bit more for the higher factory clocked chip, already at the speed you were trying to reach, you still have a warranty and a bit more headroom to overclock with :).
Today we are going to be taking a look at the latest Phenom II X4 refresh that will be available on store shelves soon. The Phenom II X4 980. The 980 is a quad core processor clocked at 3.7GHz for blazing fast speed. It still has the same 6MB L3 cache and 2MB total L2 cache, socket AM3/AM2+ compatible and support for HyperTransport 3.0.
The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition came to the testing bench in the traditional OEM style packaging. The Phenom II X4 980 has a clock speed of 3.7GHz which makes it the fastest clocked processor of the Phenom II X4 series. For the cache breakdown, there is 512MB of L2 cache per core for a total of 2MB combined and a 6MB shared L3 cache bringing the total cache L2 + L3 to 8MB. The 980 still keeps the best features of the Phenom II X4 series including an integrated 128-bit wide memory controller supporting both DDR2 memory up to 1066Mhz and DDR3 memory up to 1333Mhz depending on the platform it is paired with. HyperTransport 3.0 for speeds up to 4GHz full duplex, a total processor to system bandwidth up to 37.3GB/s and all with a maximum 125 watt TDP.
Now that we have seen the physical side of the Phenom II X4 980, let's plug her in and see what she can offer.