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

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @11:44AM (#26387063) Homepage Journal

    The Core I7 isn't all that future proof. Intel is going to bring out the consumer version of the I7 with guess what... A new Socket!
    I think that the AM2+ socket will have a good life span. The AM2 sure did.
    The thing really is though is that the Core2 and the X2 really are still "good enough". Most people really are not dieing for a faster PC.
    The Atom is the right now the most interesting CPU around. I think AMD should produce a two core version of the PhenomII or a 45nm X2 cpu.
    A very low power use AMD cpu combined with the 780G would be a great product right now.
    The only reason that any QuadCore interests me right now is that I am addicted to FSX.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:29PM (#26387695)

    Actually you are looking at this in the wrong way. The entire problem is that you are looking at the Phenom as though it's the critical portion of AMD design, which it's not. The Phenom II is part of the Dragon platform, which includes the 4000 series graphics and the 7 series chipset. When combined, the system can be configured for less than $500 or just under $700 with very high end parts. Once together, the AMD system can use Overdrive to hit 4ghz on air with very little effort. Tests have put them at 3.8ghz with the automated performance boosts. Now, not only does Intel not have a platform to match, but their chipset and graphics departments are still playing catchup. Once the AM3 systems hit the market Intel will be in a considerable amount of trouble staying competitive.... especially with the current voltage problems (DDR3 performance memory can burn up i7 chips).

    Also, do not forget, AMD manufacturing costs are dropping while Intel's are increasing. This is not a good trend to have when attempting to compete on prices. New i7 CPUs are entering the market at equal prices and staying high, while the very best AMD chip enters market at the lowest Intel price point and drops. It becomes very hard to justify spending several times more on an Intel system for a tiny performance difference, knowing that it might not even be DDR3 compatible.

  • Re:Good... but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @12:36PM (#26387829)

    If you can't get fast enough hardware, try faster software [clan-sy.com].

  • Re:AMD has failed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @02:42PM (#26389789)
    The Opteron 838x (shanghai) stomps all over anything available from Intel, they won't have a part that competes until 2H'09 at the earliest when they get the Xeon Corei7 working.
  • by Pyroja ( 616376 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:13PM (#26390269) Homepage

    ... "AMD finally on par with Intel tech from two years ago."

    Seriously. I love AMD. I've been using AMD chips since my very first system of my own, which had a mighty K6-166.

    This past Novemeber, I finally bit the bullet, sold my Athlon X2 system, and upgraded... To a Q6600-based rig. Some may scoff that it's only a 2.4ghz chip, but I'm running it at 3.4ghz right now, and I'm fairly sure I'll reach 3.6ghz with a bit more work.

    To be sure, those who don't overclock, but want a powerful AMD-based system will find this chip worthwhile. I would expect those to be people who already have AM2+ systems looking for an upgrade (I have a good friend that wanted an ultra cheap upgrade for her desktop a few months back... I built her an AM2+ X2 setup. Guess what? Now she can upgrade to something worthwhile. Yay!).

    However, for the enthusiast, the hardware tweaker, the overclocker... The Phenom II is a disappointment. It has been said it can overclock to as high as 3.8ghz with good air cooling, maybe even 4ghz if you go with water. Awesome. C2Q can clock every bit as high, and you'll get more performance per clock out of it as well. I paid $180 for my Q6600. At 3.4ghz, it'll out-pace the top-end Phenom II. That Phenom II cost $275. Which is about the same price as... A low-end Core i7 chip that will overclock to 4ghz and beyond. With the i5 chips coming down the line, what's stopping Intel from slashing Core 2 prices?

    All-in-all, the Phenom II is a powerful chip, and would serve well as the heart of an AMD rig, delivering worthy performance for almost anything. The problem is, a Core 2 Quad will do ya one better every time, for the same cost or less, and has been doing so for the past two years.

    I'm anxiously waiting for AMD to bring back the glory days when they actually tried to compete with Intel, not just chase their taillights.

  • Re:Good... but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Targon ( 17348 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @03:45PM (#26390765)

    The Phenom 2 is faster clock for clock compared to the Phenom 1.

    Phenom 2 when the socket AM3 version is released will be compatible with both socket AM2+ as well as socket AM3 motherboards. Obviously, the older Phenom and this first set of Phenom 2 processors will be DDR2 only parts, so putting them in an environment where DDR3 memory will be used just will not work.

    As far as prices go, the current pricing is on the initial batch, and going forward, AMD has at least a bit more room to increase clock speeds. As others have said as well, you can make a VERY cheap AMD based system with an AMD 790GX chipset and one of these machines. Just slap a hard drive in the machine, some cheap DDR 2 memory, and a hard drive, and you are set. Intel, no matter that you may be able to throw a cheap machine together, can't provide a decent quality graphics chip, so you MUST go with an NVIDIA chipset board with integrated graphics on the Intel side if you want to go for "low cost systems". Look at the system prices for AMD vs. Intel at this lower price point, and AMD wins.

  • Re:Good... but... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dirtyhippie ( 259852 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @04:10PM (#26391109) Homepage

    Watching divx content really is enough to make performance matter -- an atom, for example, just can't keep up compared to a "fuller" CPU.

  • by NinthAgendaDotCom ( 1401899 ) on Friday January 09, 2009 @06:05PM (#26392563) Homepage

    I produce music and recently installed a PCI soundcard to use insted of the onboard sound. I immediately noticed a different: no background hiss/noise anymore. I also used to hear high pitched sounds that correlated with HDD access.

  • Re:AMD has failed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Friday January 09, 2009 @06:10PM (#26392641)

    The Athlon (I assume you mean the Athlon 64, the older athlons were a bit...hot...and prone to melting if the heatsink failed) was never a "decent" Chip, per se, it just so happens that netburst was shit and AMD happened to get more things right than they usually do.

    I had an Athlon 500Mhz (the oldest, slowest, first one they ever made -- it was back when AMD was just jumping on that fad of putting the chip on a slot instead of a socket). First of all, this was before NetBurst, so it was competing against P3s, not P4s. Second, it was better than the P3. I know this because if the P3 had been better, I would have gotten it instead. The K6-2s were the last "not decent" chips AMD made.

    And it also did not run hot. A few years later, when I was finally upgrading the graphics card (from a TNT2 to a GeForce 3), I noticed that I had never even plugged in the CPU fan! It had run perfectly well passively-cooled that whole time!

Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?