|AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE CPU HDZ965FBGIBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Mathew Williams|
|Thursday, 13 August 2009|
Page 13 of 13
AMD Phenom II Final Thoughts
Flagship processors tend not to retain their title for very long and that's exactly the case here. Less than four months after its introduction, the Phenom II X4 955 is being replaced by the X4 965. It's a good move for AMD, though, particularly with the Fall shopping season gearing up and Intel's Lynnfield launch looming around the corner.
It's also good news for consumers and an interesting milestone for the industry: the X4 965 is the first quad-core processor ever to ship at 3.4GHz, making it the highest clocked processor on the market. Combined with the solid performance of AMD's C2 revision of Deneb and the unlocked Black Edition multipliers, the X4 965 is a welcome addition to the Phenom II family.
Throughout our benchmarks today, the 3.4GHz Phenom II X4 965 consistently topped the charts. Compared to the previous 3.2 GHz X4 955 flagship model, the extra 200 MHz led to an average performance increase of roughly 6%, making it the fastest Phenom II to date. It also put up a decent fight against Intel's Q9450, pulling ahead in nearly every benchmark.
The X4 965 earns top marks for construction quality as well. We torture all of our system with a combination of Prime95 and FurMark before running any benchmarks and not once did we notice instability. We've come to expect this kind of quality from modern processors, and the Deneb-based X4 965 certainly does not disappoint.
Based on the same C2 revision of Deneb as the X4 955, the Phenom II X4 965 also carries the same architectural benefits. This includes full AM3-DDR3 support, 8MB combined L2 and L3 cache, and backwards compatibility with AM2+ and DDR2. The only downside seems to the slightly increased TDP: 140 watts versus the 955's 125 watts.
Fortunately, that TDP didn't hinder our overclocking results. Thanks to the unlocked multipliers, we were able to achieve 3.9 GHz core clockspeed with our X4 965 BE, up 100MHz from our X4 955 review. Some thorough benchmarking also illustrated the importance of the cpu-northbridge frequency. After bringing this frequency up to 2.8GHz, we noticed a significant improvement in memory-intensive benchmarks as well as some of our gaming tests.
Given the increase in performance compared to the X4 955, it's refreshing to see that AMD is actually introducing X4 965 at the same price point. You can find the Phenom II X4 965 on newegg.com for $249. Of course, that also means a price drop for X4 955, which may entice some. Fortunately, AMD is planning several bundle deals that promise to bring the price down during launch.
+ Highest clocked processor on the market
- 140W TDP
Final Score: 9.15 out of 10.
Excellence Achievement: Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award.
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