AMD Phenom II X4 940 Reviewajmatson - January 7, 2009
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Everyone wants to have the fastest systems out but not many can afford it or justify spending thousands of dollars on a computer, just to have top end technology. But do you really have to spend that much to have an extremely powerful computer for your games and benchmarks? Quad Core processors are becoming the main stream processors used today and with the offerings from Intel and AMD, you have plenty of good processors to choose from. Recently Intel debuted the new i7 processors, but these CPU's come with a premium price. AMD now has brought to the table a new improved processor to the Phenom line. This new processor is the AMD Phenom II X4 CPU. The Phenom II will be manufactured using a 45nm manufacturing process and will include HyperTransport 3.0, a larger cache, an Integrated DDR2 memory controller with support up to DDR2-8500, and True multi-core processing among other outstanding features.
At launch the Phenom II will come in two flavors. First will be the Phenom II 920 which will be clocked at 2.8GHz and the other will be the Phenom II 940 clocked and 3.0GHz and will be a "Black Box" Edition with an unlocked multiplier. For this review we will be taking a look at the AMD Phenom II X4 940 "Black Box". This new processor comes with an increased cache size. There will still be the same 512KB L2 cache per core however the L3 cache will be increased to 6MB shares versus the 2MB L3 the AMD Phenom X4 9850 has. With the Phenom II release there will be a new platform to support it. The AMD Phenom II will be part of the new Dragon Platform which also includes a 790GX based motherboard and an ATI HD 4800 series graphics card.
At first glance the AMD Phenom II processor looks exactly like the original Phenom. The socket is the same as well as the AM2+ (940) packaging, but don't let the looks fool you about this new gem. The Phenom II increases the L3 Cache to a whopping 6MB shared. The Phenom II has a maximum TDP of 125 watts and is manufactured using a 45nm process. It is designed to be more power efficient then the previous generation as well. The Phenom II also supports up to DDR2-1066MHz unbuffered memory natively for increased performance when paired with a 790GX board supporting 1066MHz memory as well. There are 758 million transistors and it can take a voltage up to 1.5 volts with a maximum temperature threshold of 62C degrees.
Now that we have seen the outside, how about we plug it in and really see what it can do?