AMD Phenom II 965 Processor Reviewajmatson - August 12, 2009
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AMD has been releasing different types of processors since last year's CES like hot cakes. We have seen the new Athlon X2 series along with the Phenom II DDR2 series. Then came the Athlon II and Phenom II series with DDR3 support. As of lately the flagship AMD processor has been the AMD Phenom II X4 955, which while a very strong and cost effective processor, has been leaving enthusiasts wanting more. To help bridge the gap between the Phenom II X4 955 and the ever popular Core i7 series processors, AMD has again released another processor on its quest for the best processing power for the money. AMD has been on a stand wanting to give its consumers a powerful platform on which their hard earned cash can yield them a top of the line system without having to take out a second mortgage on the house. They see the market as the average user or enthusiast that does not have thousands of dollars to toss out for their systems. Today, AMD brings us the new flagship processor, the AMD Phenom II X4 965. The Phenom II X4 965 comes dialed in at 3.4GHz with a 6MB shared L3 cache and a 2MB split L2 cache (512KB per core). Take that with HyperTransport 3.0 support and you have a fast true multi-core platform.
For this review we received an engineering package processor, which comes OEM in a hard anti static box. The retail versions will come in a more secure package, along with the heatsink fan for cooling.
The Phenom II X4 965 is an AM3 processor, which sports a 938 micro-pin grid array (micro-PGA) configuration. This processor, as with all of the Phenom II X4 line, is manufactured using a 45nm process and has 758 million transistors. One difference between this and the Phenom II X4 955 is that the X4 965 has maximum TDP of 140 watts, using a voltage of 0.875 - 1.5v with a maximum operating temperature of 62C degrees. The Phenom II X4 965 does support 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 965 is clocked at 3.4GHz (200MHz x 17), and is a "Black Edition" processor - meaning that the multiplier is unlocked, so higher overclocks can be attained with the right tweaking.
Now that this baby is out let's get her installed and see what she has to offer.