AMD’s Phenom line gets some new additions with three new CPUs. The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition which is now AMD’s fastest quad-core CPU at 2.6GHz is joined by the Phenom X4 9350e at 2.0 Ghz and the X4 9150e at 1.8 Ghz.
A few of the specs for these processors:
L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor)
L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor)
L3 Cache Size: 2MB (shared)
Memory Controller Frequency: Up to 1.6GHz - 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
There is still no support for DDR3 which was not unexpected. Look for DDR3 support when AMD goes to a 45nm process which should be at the end of this year.
The X4 9350e and X4 9150e at 65 Watts TDP are less power hungry than the X4 9950BE at 140 Watts TDP. On the technical side, the new CPUs are essentially identical, with the major differences being their rated clock speeds and associated power ratings.
HotHardware.com has already done a little overclocking with the 9950BE on a Gigabyte 790FX-chipset based motherboard. By changing the multiplier and increasing the CPU voltage to 1.45v, they were able to take it to 3.1GHz using nothing but a stock AMD cooler. They thought that higher frequencies were possible, but couldn't keep the system stable beyond 3.1GHz on stock cooling. Not too bad.
But is it good enough? AMD always competed in performance per dollar on CPUs until they snatched the performance crown temporarily on the Athlon 64 CPUs. Since Intel took that crown back many have been hoping that AMD would release something to seriously challenge Intel’s dominance. But AMD just hasn’t been able to deliver, and Intel is not letting them go back to competing on price point as they have pushed down the prices of their venerable Q6600 to around $199. It seems AMD doesn’t have a hope to beat Intel in performance with the Phenom on the current core. Many of AMD’s engineers are moving on to the 45nm Deneb desktop and Shanghai server processors. We can hope for something next year, which will help spur the competition on for another big jump in processing technology.