AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition – 3.7GHz Fast

AMD’s new quad core processor the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition marks a speed bump and a price drop for the quad-core Phenom II family as well as the fastest clocked (official) processor to date.
AMD Phenom II – Box

Priced at only $195 the new processor got some fairly favorable reviews earlier today and although it might not be as fast as the latest Quad core Intel or even the new 6 core AMD processor, its relatively low price should put it in a great position to become an overnight hit amongst PC builders and overclokers.

The new 980 comes with a 6MB L3 cache shared by all cores as well as 512KB L2s cache per core. The 758M transistors on the 980 are built using what is now considered a slightly old 45nm technology and its TDP is a somewhat high 125W (not surprising for such a high clocked CPU). Like the rest of the Phenom II family the new processor will work on all Socket-AM3 motherboards.
In tests performed by the hardware website Anandtech the new processor fared well against the Intel competition especially in the Multithreaded benchmarks where it performed on the same level (approximately) as the closest Intel competitor (Core i5 2400 with 3.1GHz) . However when it came to Single threaded performance the Intel CPU still had the upper hand.
You can find several full benchmarks of the new CPU online including an 8 page one from Anandtech which summarized by with a rather negative remark, saying: ” Unless you’re an existing Socket-AM3 motherboard owner a high end Phenom II X4 just isn’t attractive”. A techreport review stating that ” the 980 leaves us wondering what, exactly is the point of this little product refresh” and finally hothardware which was a bit more positive saying: ” The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is AMD’s fastest quad-core processor to date. Although its performance can’t match that of Intel’s, the X4 980 BE isn’t a poor performer by any means”.

TFOT covered several processor-related topics including: improving chip memory by stacking cells, Intel’s preview of the Nehalem-EX Xeon processor, and AMD’s six-core CPU.

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