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

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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  • FAIL (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:54AM (#29052345)

    I'm running a Q9550 at 3.4 Ghz right now (with the ability to go much higher) and mine only uses 95 watts.

    AMD has a long ways to go to get back in the game. I can't imagine craptacular ideas like purchasing ATI are helping.

  • Re:This is midrange? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SkankinMonkey ( 528381 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:06AM (#29052555)
    Have you seen Intel's pricing? Can't get a decent solution from them including a motherboard for under 500 whereas I just recently built a full Phenom II computer for about 400 (including hard drive). I'm not convinced that Intel is really interested in mid-ranged computing.
  • by millisa ( 151093 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:07AM (#29052579)

    When it comes down to processor comparisons, I see very little compelling about this new AMD proc. The i7 920 is going to outperform it at most things, uses less power and is only 35 bucks more. Eventually for those of us always-on users, even the 10 watt savings of the i7 is going to kill the slight price advantage.

    The only thing I see interesting here is the fact that you have more commodity boards to choose from, could do a slower upgrade (re-use your ddr2!) but this isn't any different than the currently line of quad proc amd chips, many of which can be had for cheaper and use less power.

    Come on, AMD, you can do better.

  • Re:Q6600 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:22AM (#29052849) Journal
    I've had a Core 2 Duo E4300 running at 3.0 ghz for almost three years now and I haven't found a reason to upgrade. Friends with quad core report no increase in speed or performance, and the only thing that would encourage me to upgrade is a more smp friendly OS but the offerings from Microsoft (Vista and Windows 7) have been pretty poor lately.

    So are we done with the mhz battle? Is ~3ghz the breaking point? We've had Xeon 3.0GHz cpus for over 5 years now [archive.org]. That's a long time to not see a jump in speed, what happened to "doubling every 18 months"? We should be around 24ghz by now.
  • Re:FAIL (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:34AM (#29053027)

    It has been fairly well proven that AMD is full of it in that regard. Just search and you will find lots of tests comparing the actual power usage and Intel always comes out on top.

  • Re:This is midrange? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jeff Carr ( 684298 ) <<slashdot.com> <at> <jeffcarr.info>> on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:40AM (#29053139) Homepage
    I just built a new computer for my parents with an Intel boxdg41ty, E6300, 4 gigs of Patriot DDR2, a 1 terabyte Seagate drive, and a Corsair 400 watt power supply for about 275 after rebates and shipping. It isn't a gaming machine, but it works beautifully for just about anything the average non gamer will throw at it.
  • by buddyglass ( 925859 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @11:53AM (#29053357)
    • AMD Phenom II X4 965 - $249
    • Intel Core2 Quad Q9550 - $219
    • Intel Core i7 920 - $279

    Article shows that performance is roughly equivalent beween the Q9550 and Phenom 965, with the AMD part enjoying a slight advantage if you look at all the benchmarks together. This while costing $30 more and consuming more power.

    Would be interesting to see a comparison of the i7 920 with the Phenom. I'm guessing the 920 would outperform, which is what you'd expect since you're paying $30 more.

  • 38 C ain't that hot (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kyont ( 145761 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:00PM (#29053469)

    I recently completed a home-build with this very CPU. Sure, the chip was the single most expensive piece, but with NewEgg combo deals and shipping discounts, I got the entire machine for about $600, including a smashing new case, plenty of RAM and disk space, extra USB ports and two disc burners. That's mid-range in my book.

    I'm sure some of you hardware nerds will smack me down for one reason or another, but as a starting point I just installed the AMD factory CPU cooler it came with. 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.

    My $0.02 on the very rare occasion of having first-hand experience with the actual hardware in the story.

  • Re:FAIL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by A Friendly Troll ( 1017492 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:01PM (#29053473)

    Intel and AMD release different numbers for their CPU's power consumption. Intel gives an average and AMD gives a maximum. They're not comparible. In real world testing, the X4 965 uses slightly less power at idle and slightly more power at full load than a stock Q9550.

    Sadly, that is incorrect.

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/phenom-ii-x4-965_4.html#sect0 [xbitlabs.com]

    While idle is comparable (Intel has a slight lead), full load most definitely isn't - 75% extra power consumption (which amounts to over 60W!) for the X4 965 over a Q9550 is far from "slightly more".

  • Re:AMD... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BlackSnake112 ( 912158 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:03PM (#29053495)

    Now if I could only efficiently recirculate air from my 150 sqft office to the rest of the house, I wouldn't need a furnace...

    If you have a furnace (or forced air system) see if you can turn on the fan only. The return(s) in the room should pull the heat out of the office to the other rooms. That is if you have a return in the office, a good system has a return (even a small one) in every room. My house built in the mid 1950's has small returns in every room.

  • by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMpitabred.dyndns.org> on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:16PM (#29053649) Homepage
    The thing is, it's the value proposition of AMD that's attractive... the motherboards are cheaper, and you can upgrade incrementally with them. You don't have to get a whole new system to upgrade. The AM3 chips fit into the AM2+ sockets, the AM3 chips are compatible with DDR2 RAM as well as DDR3...
  • by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:27PM (#29053847) Journal
    I could, but I can't justify it to myself. Replace a whole PC, and you can do something useful with the old one. Replace a part.... this RAM is still perfectly good, but I can't do anything with it.
  • by Pentium100 ( 1240090 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @12:39PM (#29054001)

    At that temperature it's cooler than my dual Opteron 270 setup which runs at ~60 degrees on full load (when the room is at 21 degrees).

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:29PM (#29054691)

    I see your point there, but, for me at least, I eventually run out of "useful" things to do with my old pcs a while back. Router and NAS are handled by dedicated devices (both are running embedded Linux though so I can technically SSH in and still play with em). I've got 3 desktops (Mac, Linux, Windows), a 4th desktop for playing with stuff (currently running Syallable, though will likely switch to Haiku if they get a better installer available), a Windows laptop, and a MythBuntu based HTPC.

    Honestly I just don't see many niches for extra computers to do much more for me other than drive up the power bill more. If at all possible I pretty much always go for upgrades, unless a computer is just in need of an overhaul, at which time I still usually salvage SOME stuff from the system it's replacing. And if I get too tired of how my computer looks I'll just buy a new case next time I format it. That makes it seem new, at least :).

  • Re:FAIL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nuno Sa ( 1095047 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:31PM (#29054725)

    Sadly, that is incorrect.

    http://techreport.com/articles.x/17402/11 [techreport.com]

    "Interestingly enough, the systems based on Phenom II quad-cores (including the X4 965) draw quite a bit less power at idle than our Q9550-based test system."

    "That said, the X4 965-based system draws only 15W more than the Q9550-based one. The gap between the Q9550- and X4 965-based systems is thus smaller than the processors' TDP ratings alone suggest. [In full load]"

    "By virtue of its lower system power draw at idle and its ability to finish the rendering task sooner, the Phenom II X4 965 fares better than the Q9550 in our two most important measures of energy efficiency."

  • by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @04:50PM (#29057435)

    I really don't understand why anyone would buy the Phenom.. At $245 it's $46 more expensive than the Core i7 920 [microcenter.com] and performs significantly worse. [cpubenchmark.net] The 965 isn't listed there, but 955 is, and it's passmark rating is 3,571 while the i7 920 is rated at 5,440. And that's not even considering the fact that you are using triple channel memory access versus dual channel, etc..

    Granted, you can get AM3 motherboards cheaper than X58 boards, but Intel is coming out with more consumer i7 chipsets very soon.

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