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AMD Hardware

AMD Launches Fastest Phenom Yet, Phenom II X4 980 207

MojoKid writes "Although much of the buzz lately has revolved around AMD's upcoming Llano and Bulldozer-based APUs, AMD isn't done pushing the envelope with their existing processor designs. Over the last few months AMD has continued to ramp up frequencies on their current bread-and-butter Phenom II processor line-up to the point where they're now flirting with the 4GHz mark. The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition marks the release of AMD's highest clocked processor yet. The new quad-core Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition's default clock on all four of its cores is 3.7GHz. Like previous Deneb-based Phenom II processors, the X4 980 BE sports a total of 512K of L1 cache with 2MB of L2 cache, and 6MB of shared L3 cache. Performance-wise, for under $200, the processor holds up pretty well versus others in its class and it's an easy upgrade for AM2+ and AM3 socket systems."
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AMD Launches Fastest Phenom Yet, Phenom II X4 980

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  • by Mia'cova ( 691309 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @08:48PM (#36030942)

    Once the GPU is maxed-out, there's nothing more for the CPU to do. If you're running at 30 FPS at high-res, the CPU might be at 30%. At that point, any number of different CPUs will have identical benchmark results. When you drop the load off the GPU, the CPU hits 100% usage and you can compare 150 fps to 160 fps, for example. This is a very simple and typical way to benchmark CPUs for gaming perf. Reviews and reviewers (such as myself) have been doing this for 10+ years, since the very first 3D accelerators came to the gaming market.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @09:56PM (#36031270) Homepage

    And then on the high-ish end, AMD has nothing to compete against the i7 2600K. And it's not really that much more expensive (+$100) for the 15% extra gain in performance. It's not like their traditional $1000 high end offerings.

    Intel essentially skipped a cycle on the high end because they were completely uncontested anyway. The last high-end socket was LGA 1366, then we've had two midrange sockets in a row with LGA 1156 and LGA 1155. Late this year we'll finally see LGA 2011, the high end Sandy Bridge. Expect another round of $999 extreme edition processors then - with six cores, reportedly.

  • Re:3700 megahertz? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday May 04, 2011 @11:32PM (#36031736)

    So clock speed means everything when comparing different CPUs and not their raw performance. Got it.

    Not exactly, but close for single-core performance. The "MHz Myth" is largely a myth itself. As this table [theknack.net] shows, per-MHz single-core performance between the infamously bad (even at the time) P4 and the current best (Core i7) has only improved by a factor of less than 2.6, since October 2004! (When the Pentium 3.6 EE was released).

    Perhaps more importantly, the ratio between the most productive (per-mhz) chip from 2004 (Athlon64 2.6) and the most productive on the chart now is a mere 1.6! That's a 60% improvement in almost 7 years!

    That is a joke. For reference, we went from the Pentium 100 (March 1994) to the Pentium 200 (June 1996) - approximately a 100% improvement in a little over 2 years.

    So, no, improvements in instructions per cycle are not even close to keeping pace with what improvements in MHz used to give us. (And if you looked at instructions per cycle per transistor, it would be abysmal - which is another way of saying Moore's law is hardly helping single-threaded performance any more).

  • Re:Wait a second... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @12:03AM (#36031888)

    I've had prime95 catch errors on overclocks that passed -everything- else.

    Know what, in every one of those instances, it was right. If I kept running at the speed that passed prime but failed everything else, I'd eventually run into random errors, sudden unrepeatable crashes, or other mysterious problems.

    I've never had any issues with any overclock that passed 24 hours of prime, including distributed computing projects where they'll yell at you if you're returning bad data (i.e. aren't passing the redundancy tests).

  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Thursday May 05, 2011 @12:15AM (#36031924)

    And it's not really that much more expensive (+$100) for the 15% extra gain in performance.

    On the x264 Pass 1 Encode test, the i7 2600K is 28% faster than the Phenom II X6 1075T, but (right now, at NewEgg) 66% more expensive.

    Since AMD and the mobo manufacturers has a track record with AM2/AM2+/AM3 of backwards compatibility with simple BIOS upgrades, I'm going to stick with them until Intel achieves parity with AMD.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.