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AMD's Phenom II 965, 3.4GHz, 140 Watts, $245 273

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the less-is-more dept.
Vigile writes "While AMD does not have the muscle to push around the i7, they certainly have the ability to give the older and more common Core 2 Quads a run for their money. With the release of the Phenom II X4 965, AMD further attempts to dethrone the Core 2 Quad as the premier midrange CPU offering. While it may not be a world-beater by any stretch of the imagination, it certainly is catching Intel's attention in the breadbasket of the CPU market. The X4 965 is the fastest clocked processor that AMD has ever produced, much less shipped in mass quantities. While the speed bump is appreciated, the cost in terms of power and heat will make the introduction of the X4 965 problematic for some. Many of us thought that we would never see another 140 watt processor (as the Phenom 9950 was), but unfortunately those days are back. Still, AMD offers a compelling part at a reasonable price, and their motherboard support for this new 140 watt processor is robust."
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AMD's Phenom II 965, 3.4GHz, 140 Watts, $245

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  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:56AM (#29052383) Homepage
    read: if you didnt shit in a marble toilet this morning and start the day trying to figure out which of your sedans to drive to the office, you may find this chips introduction "problematic" from a pricing standpoint.
  • This is midrange? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lord Byron II (671689) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:01AM (#29052471)
    How is a $245, quad-core chip considered mid-range?
  • News? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:11AM (#29052637)

    I don't see how this is news... It's the same technology on the other Phenom IIs, except with an overclocked multiplier and price.

  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:18AM (#29052761)
    Because it's between $100 and $500 which is probably the high end for most PC class processors. Intel has the Core2Duo at the low end, the Core2Quad and the low end Core i7 in the midrange and the faster Core i7 at the high end with a few enthusiast offering at the extremely high end (~$1000). That's basically been the market as long as I can remember which dates back to the early 90's.
  • by Albanach (527650) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:25AM (#29052883) Homepage

    Don't let the quad-core bit fool you; that'll be low-end in a couple of years, no doubt.

    We've been waiting a decade for improvements in multi-threaded processing to take advantage of multiple cores.

    Are you suggesting programmers are going to make the dramatic developments in the next couple of years that they have been unable to in the last ten?

    Certainly I can see the number of cores increasing at the server end - it's straightforward enough to run one process per client. I'm unsure what's going to change on user desktops that will drive any massive increase in core numbers. Still, I'm prepared to be surprised.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:58AM (#29053417) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, but you have to pay the "i7 tax" for a new $220+ motherboard. Core2Duo/Quads will happily plug into any $50 motherboard you (already) have.

  • Re:FAIL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by avandesande (143899) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:07PM (#29053531) Journal

    It certainly appears that the Q9550 is in a sweet spot for low cost (including platform), power draw and performance.

  • Re:FAIL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mdm-adph (1030332) <mdmadph&gmail,com> on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:13PM (#29053605) Homepage

    You were running 95 watts at stock (2.83 GHz). You're way, way over that by now!

  • by k_187 (61692) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:32PM (#29053901) Journal
    Honestly, I think its been a chicken and egg problem for a while. Nobody used multiple cores on the desktop because software didn't take advantage of it and the software didn't take advantage of it because nobody had multiple processors. Intel and AMD realized that if they wanted to keep on the MOAR POWAR treadmill, they were going to have to start packing more cores into the processors. There's no reason to think that programmers won't catch up eventually. We're already seeing stuff take advantage of dual cores.
  • Re:FAIL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pentium100 (1240090) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:44PM (#29054077)

    The difference is that the Phenom 2 965 is designed to run at this frequency, while you are overclocking your CPU. It's great when overclocking works, but not all CPUs may be able to do it (I cannot go to a store and buy this CPU thinking that I would run it at 3.4GHz - I may get a CPU that runs OK at the specified frequency but cannot be overclocked much).

    And the power consumption isn't that big, my dual Opteron 270 PC probably uses more power (each CPU has TDP of 95W).

  • by mcvos (645701) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:38PM (#29054811)

    I don't know what wattage it's pulling, but the CPU temperature is holding very steady at about 38 Celcius, and the fans don't even seem to be working very hard for that. It's working great, and at those temperatures, it should do fine for years to come.

    What wattage it's pulling is highly relevant, however. That's the amount of energy turned into heat, after all. Did you measure this while idling, during typical use, or at full load? 38 degrees while not doing anything special is not anything special. If you can keep a 140W processor at 38 degrees at full load, that'd be quite spectacular.

  • AMD vs Intel (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sanosuke001 (640243) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:50PM (#29054983)
    I know I'll be called a fanboy or something but I've been building AMD/ATI systems for the last ten years based solely on the fact that it isn't Intel/nVidia. I'm not going to pay $1000 for the top-of-the-line Intel chip anyway and I'd rather see AMD in business than Intel be the only big player.
  • by hattig (47930) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:50PM (#29054985) Journal

    Well AMD have started using an ACP number now that is a bit closer to what Intel's TDP definition was.

    At a platform level it appears that the AMD solution is still more than competitive on power consumption with Intel's similar offerings (according to the review at Tech Report anyway), so I wouldn't worry too much about the 140W figure. Especially if you're going to add a fast graphics card anyway, which will eat even more.

  • by Retric (704075) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:59PM (#29055101)

    The cost benefit curve in the consumer CPU space is strange. A 10% faster might be worth twice as much or be totally useless.

    EX: Real time playback of HD movies. If your CPU can't do that it's a pain. However, if it can then extra speed is pointless for that task.

  • Re:AMD vs Intel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by citylivin (1250770) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @03:34PM (#29056341)

    A fool is someone who blindly sticks to their brand preference. Yes, ten years ago when the athlon xp line of amd processors came out, they were owning up and down the crappy p4s. Intel has come a long way. They pioneered multiple cores, at which time they surpassed amd in terms of performance and heat. Anything before core2 was crap, but after that everyone who doesn't want to lie to themselves switched to intel.

    I ran dual opterons for years, but it got replaced with a quad processor intel machine last year. I even had a cyrex back in the day, so I am no fanboi. The better decision is to use what benchmarks the best at the right price point.

    As for video cards, ati has always had ass drivers, whereas nvidia drivers are constantly rock solid. For me that is no contest. Being brand loyal is at best a disservice to yourself, and at worst you will make bad purchasing decisions for others. Perhaps if you supplied reasons for your choices, a reasoned argument why ATI and AMD is better (and there are some, price for instance) then people will take you more seriously.

  • Re:AMD vs Intel (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @05:57PM (#29058481)

    . . . . and a fool is someone who doesn't try to ensure that he always has options.

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