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AMD Hardware

45nm Phenom II Matches Core 2 Quad, Trails Core i7 234

An anonymous reader writes "AMD recently debuted its 45nm Phenom II processors, and The Tech Report has already run them through a complete suite of benchmarks to see how they perform compared to Intel's latest and greatest. The new 2.8GHz and 3GHz Phenom IIs are in a dead heat with like-priced Core 2 Quads, but they generally fall well behind Intel's new Core i7 chips. TR concludes that AMD's future doesn't look as bleak as some say, and future Phenom IIs could compete favorably with more affordable Core i7 derivatives."
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45nm Phenom II Matches Core 2 Quad, Trails Core i7

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  • by oldspewey ( 1303305 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @11:32AM (#26386871)
    is that the CPU price is only one component of a significantly higher overall platform cost. Both memory and mainboard cost significantly more if you want to build an i7 rig.
  • Re:Good... but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by CajunArson ( 465943 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @11:49AM (#26387119) Journal

    There's a major problem with your logic. Intel is coming out with a lower-cost mainstream Nehalem, but it is not discontinuing the current i7 sockets, they will continue as a high-end option and you'll be able to slap 32nm Westmere's in there when the time comes. AM2+ is at the very end of the road. As for the older Core 2 quad socket 775's, they are getting nearer the end of the line, but with some price cuts the current 775 socket systems are still going to outperform anything AMD has until at least 2010... the Core 2's are at the end of the technology ramp-up road, but not at the end of the price-performance road.

  • by electrosoccertux ( 874415 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @11:55AM (#26387207)

    To be more specific, the motherboards are $200+ on the low end of the spectrum whereas there are a wealth of Phenom II supporting motherboards for $100; and 4GB of DDR3 is only now approaching $100. 4GB of DDR2, OTOH, (which works with the AMD Phenom II), can be had for $20 if you look for it. If you're too lazy to look for these deals, it can be had for $40 no rebates.

    AMD has a real winner on their hands here.

  • Re:Good... but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:13PM (#26387453)

    AM3 is pin compatible with AM2+/AM2, it just adds faster HT and DDR3 support. My understanding is that Mobo suppliers can even choose to use the AM3 socket with DDR2, getting the (probably insignificant) benefit of faster HT but using cheaper RAM. The fact that the AM3 Phenoms have both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controlers means they van be used in AM2+ boards as long as there is a BIOS update. Could be used in AM2 boards as well from a hardware standpoint, but unfortunately (for me at least) there probably won't be any updated BIOSs for those boards.

  • by ZirbMonkey ( 999495 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:17PM (#26387537)

    I just built an i7 system, splurged on a few nicer options and ended up at just about $1000 for the build. Had I been more fiscal:
    MB = $250
    i7 920 = $300
    3GB Ram = $100
    PSU = $100
    Case = $50
    Total = $800

    But if you already have an AM2 MB, a $250 upgrade puts you back in the ballpark of being on the cutting edge. If someone wants to save $650 on a full system upgrade, it makes a lot of sense to me.

  • Re:Good... but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Atriqus ( 826899 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:18PM (#26387553) Homepage
    Except that AM3 is compatible with many AM2+ boards; I know mine is []. AM3 has both a DDR2 and DDR3 memory controller.
  • Re:125 watt only? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Atriqus ( 826899 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:27PM (#26387657) Homepage
    The later AM3s will have 95w x4's in feburary. Check your board's product page if they plan on supporting it for that model.
  • by rezalas ( 1227518 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:28PM (#26387673)
    You are missing a few parts there bud. Like video card, hard drive, DVDRW, Sound card (onboard sound blows). The difference is with a Phenom II, you get all that included in the price you listed as well as the other parts. Look at adding about $300 to your total that wouldn't be added with AMD.
  • by GNUPublicLicense ( 1242094 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:04PM (#26388273)
    Again it seems that the benchmarks are running Intel Optimized code on AMD...
  • Re:Good... but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by athakur999 ( 44340 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @01:47PM (#26388975) Journal

    The AM3 Phenom II's are supposed to be able to work in an AM2+ motherboard (and utilize DD2 memory). TechReport's review of the chip has some more details on this: []

    In one of the neater tricks we've seen along these lines, Socket AM3-capable Phenom II processors will, happily, be backward compatible with current Socket AM2+ motherboards and DDR2 memory.

    So AM2+ is still a viable socket for the future since AM3 processors will fit in. I wonder if the backwards compatability will work both ways - could an AM2+ processor be used in an AM3 motherboard?

  • Re:Good... but... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fweeky ( 41046 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:17PM (#26389415) Homepage

    I wonder if the backwards compatability will work both ways - could an AM2+ processor be used in an AM3 motherboard?

    Nope, since they lack the DDR3 support in their memory controller.

  • by Guspaz ( 556486 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:46PM (#26391517)

    Memory costs for high-end DDR3 can be several TIMES that of high-end DDR2.

    Consider this: high-end DDR2 could be considered DDR2-1066. Just built a rig with 4GB of DDR2-1066, cost me $44.

    At the same store, from the same memory manufacturer, 4GB of DDR3-1600 (the high-end equivalent) costs $136, three times the price.

    If you cry foul and want to see DDR3-1066 (the slowest DDR3), things improve slightly; the same brand, 4GB goes for $99, only double the price.

    In short, DDR3 costs 2x to 3x the price of DDR2, which significantly raises the total cost of building a system. Especially if you wanted to put 8GB or more in a system.

  • by tknd ( 979052 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @07:07PM (#26393373)

    Onboard sound really sucks. Get really good head phones and you'll hear hiss, noise, or interference whenever your system does something. I have Sennheiser HD 280 pro headphones with passive noise canceling and I tell you, there is a huge difference. Now if you have crappy head phones that let in all the sound from your whining computer fans, then sure, you'll never notice the noise and hiss the onboard sound produces.

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