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Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition Processor
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: AMD X6-1090T
CPU Testing Methodology
Cinebench R11.5 Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 10 Tests
Video Game Benchmarks
PCMarkVantage Tests
Everest CPU Benchmarks
AMD Black Edition CPU Overclocking
Thuban/Leo Final Thoughts
AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Conclusion

AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T CPU Review

Whether you buy into the brand or not, AMD keeps the desktop and server processor market competitive and affordable. Intel recently released their 'Gulftown' Core i7-980X Extreme Edition desktop processor, which offers 3.33GHz to six unlocked CPU cores to the tune of $1150. For that kind of money, an entire high-end PC can be built using the AMD platform... which now also offers six processor cores and native SATA 6Gb/s connectivity. Enter the AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition processor, model HDT90ZFBK6DGR.

AMD's Turbo CORE technology is now available in 'Thuban' Phenom-II AM3 desktop processors, beginning with the 2.8GHz X6-1055T and 3.2GHz X6-1090T CPUs. Turbo CORE senses when three of the six processor cores are not in use, and automatically boosts the clock speed up to 500MHz. Paired with the AMD 890FX chipset found on ASUS' Crosshair-IV Formula ROG motherboard, the AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition CPU can reach 4.0GHz on all six cores with an additional 4.3GHz Turbo CORE. In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the AMD X6-1090T against the Intel Core i7-920 and i7-890X processors in gaming, computing, and overclocking performance.

AMD_Phenom-II_X6-1090T_Processor_Logo.jpg

The Phenom-II X6-1090T is AMD's fastest and most powerful desktop processor, offering exceptional versatility. AMD has provided six real cores of processing power at 3.2GHz for less than $300. Turbo CORE activates when the CPU finds itself in a condition where three (or more) cores rest idle, which the processor then boosts the active cores up to 3.6GHz (on the 1090T) improving performance on less heavily-threaded workloads. With the launch of their flagship 3.2GHz Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition processor with Turbo CORE technology, AMD also announces the 2.8GHz Phenom-II X6-1055T. When either of the Phenom-II X6 CPUs is combined with either the AMD-890GX or new AMD-890FX chipset motherboards and a Radeon HD 5000-series graphics card, this creates the "Leo" platform.

Generally speaking, most users barely tap the potential of their computer system. Applications and video games are usually more affected by clock speed than they are processor cores, and many programs still are single-threaded. But again, this applies to most users. The differences between hardware enthusiasts or power-users and their casual PC user counterparts are acute and to the point that they have little in common with each other. While mainstream users concern themselves with browsing the web and checking email, enthusiasts are constantly looking to push their hardware with powerful overclocking experiments and power users create multiple virtual machine profiles for commercial application.

Although the consumer software industry has been slow to develop applications that can utilize multiple CPU cores and/or threads, there are many commercial programs which handle four or more processor threads very well... and even a few video games. Our benchmarks will determine how important multiple cores are to gaming later in this article, but it goes without question that Virtual-Machine applications receive immediate benefits from the added Hyper-Threading. Some already-popular productivity software titles also utilize multi-threaded processor cores, such as: Adobe Photoshop and Premiere-Pro, AutoDesk Maya and 3DS-Max, Microsoft Excel and Windows Live Movie Maker, Sony Vegas and Acid, and also VirtualDub.

About Advanced Micro Devices, Inc (AMD)AMD_Fusion_Logo_300px.jpg

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) is an innovative technology company dedicated to collaborating with customers and partners to ignite the next generation of computing and graphics solutions at work, home, and play.

Over the course of AMD's three decades in business, silicon and software have become the steel and plastic of the worldwide digital economy. Technology companies have become global pacesetters, making technical advances at a prodigious rate - always driving the industry to deliver more and more, faster and faster.

However, "technology for technology's sake" is not the way we do business at AMD. Our history is marked by a commitment to innovation that's truly useful for customers - putting the real needs of people ahead of technical one-upmanship. AMD founder Jerry Sanders has always maintained that "customers should come first, at every stage of a company's activities."

We believe our company history bears that out.



 

Comments 

 
# i7-920 is obsolete, i7-930 should have been used for comparison...Greg 2010-04-26 22:11
...purposes. The reason is, the i7-920 and the i7-930 are almost identical in price, but the i7-930 is faster.
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# Thank you for your expert opinion, GregOlin Coles 2010-04-26 22:31
Considering that the Core i7-920 is STILL AVAILABLE in all retail markets, I'd say that your statement is incorrect. I'd also like to add that the i7-920 user base is vastly larger than the i7-930, making my decision to use the 920 much more relevant. Furthermore, they are so close in performance that you could surmise the level of performance is similar.

Keep in mind that I've just spent nearly 26 hours to offer you a comprehensive hardware review on a free website. You're encouraged to purchase your own Intel i7-930 for the sole purpose of testing another processor, and let us know how that goes.
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# RE: Thank you for your expert opinion, GregCarigis 2010-04-27 07:06
if the time you spend reviewing and the cost of a processor or any item are a factor in your reviews then you are using the wrong business /advertising model and are prob in the wrong line of work. Your post comes across as very condescending. You'll last along time with that kind of attitude with your readers, especially when they make a valid point.. just saying..
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# Great ReviewLuiz 2010-04-30 05:14
Great review like always.

Kudos to you benchmarkreviews.
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# Obsolete is the wrong word, but the i7-930 would have been a better choice.Raptor007 2010-07-16 11:47
I don't agree with Greg's use of the word "obsolete", but he's correct that nobody on the fence between an Intel or AMD build would be looking at the i7-920. For me it's between the i7-930 and X6-1090T. (I'm leaning i7 because the triple-channel memory interface would provide 6 DDR3 slots instead of 4, and I feel Intel has more room for growth in the clock speed.)
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# I'm getting the AMD x6 for sureDude 2010-04-28 08:07
Thanks for the great review! I'm not basing my purchase soley on your benchmarks, but I can see how great of a value the AMD x6 is now! Intel better watch out because they charge way too much for there CPUs! BTW I've owned Intel CPUs for the last 5 years and AMD before that. I'm a fan of both, but also like to save money when possible.
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition ProcessorHank 2010-04-27 00:36
Awesome article on an incredible new offering from AMD. On behalf of all the grateful geeks, thank you Mr. Coles for the best article yet on this great new chip.
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition Processornaoan 2010-04-27 00:50
Agree, this is one well thought article, thanks you is in order from another geeks.
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# yeh manRoby Lee 2010-04-27 04:11
Rock on olin Coles,great review,told me exactly what i was wanting to know, I have been waiting to build this year,either i7 920 or amds offering,thanks a million,think ill get me that i7 920 after all now,)
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# Greg, please educate yourself prior to postingPaul Gow 2010-04-27 05:25
The Core i7 is not only a better representative sample group given the number of enthusiast that have the chip, but a vast majority of the 920's are simply better. This is particularly true with earlier batches of chips. I've owned 14 920's and 2 930's. The batch and pack date are are linear with performance. The older the batch, the less voltage it generally takes for the same overclock. The 930 simply needs more voltage, which makes it inferior. So, in essence, by using an older 920, this review is comparing a better chip to the new 6 cores. By doing this, it simply makes the whole review more honest and relavent.

Paul Gow
Lightning PC Systems
Moderator, Techpowerup.com
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# WowDew 2010-04-29 12:03
I think to many folks are sensitive. GET OFF THE INTEL NIPPLE!
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# not really opinion.. according to every other siteCarigis 2010-04-27 06:04
The whole idea is to compare the processor to CURRENT processors to figure out which you should buy not the old discontinued ones and then say YAY AMD's top of the line was able beat Intels slowest i7 9 series chip..

The 920 has has had a product discontinuation notice issued and the 930 is the same exact price as the 920. (if you can even find the 920 anymore.. for instance microcenter no longer sells them. noone is going to order a slower processor for the same price. that makes no sense).

Every other site out there has used the 930 as the primary intel example and show that the 930 in most cases beats or is equal to the x6 1090T or worst case compare it both as a reference point.
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# 'every other site'Olin Coles 2010-04-27 08:58
Carigis, your assertion of the 930 being used on 'every other site' has already been disproven, and is an ill-placed opinion at best. Tiger Direct and NewEgg both stock the 920 for $280, along with 186 other online retailers (just search Google shopping for BX80601920), and Intel still lists it as current (ark.intel.com/ProductCollection.aspx?familyID=28037). You are not only wrong, but you're incredibly inaccurate.
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# RE: 'every other site'Carigis 2010-04-27 09:28
Heres the Product discontinuance notice.

#content.intel.pcnalert.com/dm/d.aspx/5F8AF763.../PCN109790-00.pdf

You are ignoring the fact that the 930 is faster and the same price as the 920. Therefore making the 920 obsolete as noone is going to buy a slower processor for the same price. It's really that simple. IF anyone still has inventory.. its because everyone else is buying the faster 930 chip for relativly the same price.
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# Ignor-anceOlin Coles 2010-04-27 09:58
I'm not ignoring anything. If you collect the number of users with the i7-920 and i7-930, I'm betting that the 920 has a 90% market share between the two. Obviously, then, i7-930 results would only be relevant to 10%... and you of course. That being said, I had/have no intention of spending $300 so I can test a 'more current' processor for five days. Regardless of what you think these websites earn, it isn't enough to throw money at pointless hardware for the sake of demonstrating what an extra 133MHz would provide.
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# okCarigis 2010-04-27 12:49
Thats cool.. I guess we just look at these things with different perspectives. I generally look at these sites as to what Im going to buy next not how the cpu I already bought compares with a new one (as I already know Im not gonna upgrade for a single digit percentage point increase. I guess I just think you didn't need to respond to the OP in such a well, #ish manner as this is the profession you chose (long time it take and all) and he had a valid point albiet from a different (no less right)perspective then you. I mean, if the site doesn't pay well then.. why do it. seems like a rather time consuming hobby.
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# agree but disagreeJay 2010-09-08 10:54
While I agree with you Olin that the 920 is a better comparison for the 1090T, I disagree with your reasoning for it. While I understand that your time and work into the review are a consideration, they are after the fact, and has no relevance to whether or not 920/930s are appropriate.

I think that 920s have been shown to be better overclockers in general, in 920 vs 930 matchups I've seen many sites that pick 920s as the better value and better overclocker for the price range. I have been going back and forth in building a system and the two in consideration have been the 920 and 1090 because all research has pointed to the 920 as the better cpu for overclocking even if the 930 is faster from the base.

So, I think that overall even I was kinda confused by your attitude/snark even if I did agree with you in principle. Thanks for the review, keep up the great work!
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition ProcessorDavid Ramsey 2010-04-27 07:37
Every other site has used the 930 as the primary Intel example, huh? Let's work our way down the list:

Tom's Hardware: Used the 920 and 930
Legit Reviews: Used the 930
Guru3d: Used the 920
Tweaktown: Used neither
Anandtech: Used the 920
Hardware Secrets: Used neither
Maximum PC: Used neither
PC Perspective: Used the 920
Bjorn 3d: Used neither
Hardware Canucks: Used the 920 and 930.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Of 10 major sites, only 3 included the 930 in their comparisons. 5 used the 920, and two used both, while 4 used neither. Your assertion that reviewers should purchase their own hardware to review is silly: even the sites that could easily afford to, like Anandtech, don't do that.
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition ProcessorServando Silva 2010-04-27 07:50
Actually, Anandtech used the i7 860 and i5 750 for comparison. They selected those because of the price, but of course, the 920 and many other processors are available in the graphs.
I think the 920 is still the option to compare along with a lynnfield CPU.
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# doent change the result of compared cpu's{RW}Bull_S_Eye 2010-04-27 08:43
I usually jump from site to site anyway comparing everyone's results,no 2 do all the same Test anyway,
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition Processor{RW}Bull_S_Eye 2010-04-27 13:24
I am glad he did the review the way it was done,the important thing,he did a review,anyone who don't like his,can maybe do one for us as to show us the proper way to do one,
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# seems biaskory 2010-04-27 15:42
just wondering why is it all the benchmark tests i can find give intel 6gm ram but only give amd 4gb, i think the test should be done with everything the same that can. just my opinon tho
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# ChipsetsOlin Coles 2010-04-27 16:11
Kory: Intel X58-Express motherboards use a triple-channel system with three DIMM slots per set, and AMD motherboards use a dual-channel system with two DIMM slots per set.
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# Doesn't matterStefan 2010-04-29 07:25
Installed RAM has no bearing on CPU speed. It can affect *system* speed, but that takes into account your hard disk and other components.

A CPU test is a CPU test, not a RAM test.
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# A top motherboard to use with Phenom-II X6-1090TVsin 2010-04-27 16:29
Can someone point me out to a great motherboard that will take full advantage of this Processor? A really good top of the line motherboard for no more (or not much more) then $300? I'm very confused about what to get.

I did wish to get this motherboard here (ASUS P6X58D Premium): ##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131614 until I saw this processor had been released. Would this motherboard here be one that would match or surpass the one I just mentioned: ASUS Crosshair IV Formula ##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131644 Maybe one that is even better that is in the same price range? If someone could help out with suggestions, I would be very grateful.
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# Both are good optionsOlin Coles 2010-04-27 16:38
Each of those motherboards are excellent choices, but they aren't directly comparable because they are for two difference CPU platforms. One is for Intel, and the other is for AMD. Depending on your tasks, either will work great.
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# ASUSDew 2010-04-29 12:05
Go with the ASUS Crosshair IV Formual that just came out. It is X6 ready and one sweet board.
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# Intel 6GB RAM AMD 4 GB RAMi7-900 2010-04-27 16:31
Simple i7-900 Series has 3 channels of memory:6GB/3= (2GB/ channel), AMD Phenom II-X6 has 2 channels of memory:4GB/2= (2GB/ channel)
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# Great ReviewFourTwenny 2010-04-28 10:53
Awesome. Am shopping for a new processor/ram/mobo at the moment and this review has answered a lot of questions i had. I am still not completely decided. I want the best for my money, which i think is the phenomII x4 955, but the 1090t really is not that much more over all when buying motherboard and ram with it. Anyways, awesome review. Keep it up.
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# Dr_b_Endocine Murpher 2010-04-28 18:34
What were your impressions regarding heat/power consumption versus the lot of CPU's. How did the AMD 6 core fair against the intel cores as far as power consumption, and heat generated.
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# Heat/PowerOlin Coles 2010-04-28 19:34
As far as heat goes, the X6-1090T was extremely cool under load. The spread-out die makes the heat dissipate better into the heatsink; which also means I won't be testing CPU cooler with it because the temps are all so low.
Regarding power, I've found it extremely difficult to test accurately. Even with my power meters connected, the difference between idle and load is less than 20W, with a 5W margin of error. Ultimately, the motherboard will make the biggest difference.
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition Processorgordon 2010-04-29 15:43
Did anyone notice that the Intel systems are using 6gb ram, and the AMD is only using 4gb? Why is this? Would this cause the benchmark to be off? IMHO you should have used the same amount of memory for both systems to get an accurate comparison of CPU's, anyone agree?
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# Again? Really?Olin Coles 2010-04-29 19:40
Gordon: did you happen to notice that we've discussed this already? What's surprising though is the number of people who don't understand the difference between dual-channel (AMD) and triple-channel (Intel X58) platforms.
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# Again and foreverStefan 2010-04-30 01:55
People less often misunderstand the difference between triple channel and dual channel memory controllers than they do the relation between amount of installed RAM and system speed.

I've recently had a discussion on the forum of MCSA students and even there, the lack of understanding was demonstrated.

I've said it before and I'll say it again now.... RAM size does not affect how quickly your CPU runs. You will get no more FPS in Crysis for having 16GB RAM instead of 4GB.

I'll repeat for the sake of getting it through to people: 4, 6, 8, 12 or 16GB RAM does not affect CPU speed. Anyone who thinks otherwise does not understand how things work.

RAM size can affect overall *system* performance, but only due to the fact that SuperFetch and file caching can reduce Windows' reliance on the paging file for temporary storage.

4GB, for now, is the sweet spot for 99% of users.
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# Perhaps another perspective then...K Gregory 2010-05-01 09:21
Stefan I can clearly see you are an IT professional. As am I. However, the Thuban CPU may be a direct 'child' of the AMD Opteron. I don't know the desktop platform configuration and related performance with standard 2-core or 4-core CPU's however in the Server world there is a direct performance behavior between CPU/Ram. If this Thuban is an Opteron variant then testing the AMP Thuban with 6Gb's of Ram is a relevant test. With 4 banks populated with a 2x2(4GB kit) & then a 2x1(2GB Kit). Just to settle this issue on the 'unique' Thuban/(Opteron?) perhaps another perspective should be taken with testing vs the Intel X58 product.

Mr. Olin? Maybe an update test with 6GB's.... -please.?
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# Reasearch chipsetsOlin Coles 2010-05-01 10:18
K. Gregory: You've completely missed the fundamental difference of dual-channel vs triple-channel platforms, and clearly ignored that NONE of these tests would be impacted by the amount of memory. For someone who works as an IT professional, you should know that the speed of a computer is not measured in gigabytes of RAM. Not one single test used more than 2GB of RAM, so what do you imagine will change?
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# Not ignored at all...K Gregory 2010-05-01 18:27
Thanks for responding Olin, first and foremost. I clearly grasp that the tests that you ran never used more than 2GB's of Ram, I'm not stating anything to the contrary,I got that. What I am pointing out is there is a relationship on Server grade CPU's where the performance of the CPU itself is impacted due to increased RAM -despite any benefit that an application may get or not. -The CPU itself benefits in performance, so if the Thuban is a variant of the Opteron it's performance can be directly impacted from moving from 4GB's to 6GB's.(...mmm, slightly)

Olin I'm not sure why you questioned what I know as a IT pro but...? And I know the difference of dual, triple and quad channel platforms.(which I never mentioned, but you responded to?). I mentioned the 6GB Ram just as a standard 4bank config. I grasp how basic even bringing that out is. My bad.
Opteron: ##amd.com/us/products/server/processors/6000-series-platform/pages/6000-series-features.aspx
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# RE: Not ignored at all...Somebody 2010-06-25 05:58
That opteron 6000 you link to has a 4-channel memory controller. 1090T has a 2-channel memory controller.

So with double the bandwidth requiring more sticks of memory, you're damned right it'll run faster -- not with more RAM, but with more STICKS of RAM. You could put TWICE as many sticks of HALF THE SIZE, and the memory performance will shoot through the roof.

And before you go wondering if 1090T could possibly have a 4 or even 6-channel memory controller... count the pins on it. More memory controllers = more pins. Even if it DOES have a 6-channel memory controller, 4 of those channels are disabled due to being physically not connected.
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# @ K.GregoryStefan 2010-05-02 02:46
K.Gregory, in the server world the impact of huge amounts of RAM has a slight *negative* bearing on CPU processing capability. Server RAM is generally registered, buffered and ECC'd up to its eyeballs in order to provide reliability improvements and the capability of driving more than 4 DIMM slots without stressing the memory controller (not something you want to stress, now that it's on the CPU die).

Also, Opteron's don't have triple-channel memory controllers, thus testing with 3x2GB would be utterly pointless.

Triple-channel VS dual-channel memory controller is something that is barely worth consideration when building a system, even *if* you could ignore the fact that this means deciding between CPU families. Sure, triple-channel Intel systems blast through the memory bandwidth benchmarks, but that's one hell of a synthetic benchmark and the impact on real-world performance is at best difficult to measure and at worst completely counterintuitive.
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# Unfocusing on RAM/Channel aspectK Gregory 2010-05-02 07:49
Thanks Stefan, very civil response although I see you focusing on something that I'm not stressing. Please, please this is not about RAM throughput, architecture, ECC,or Non, Registered, or Non. My thoughts are is this Thuban a variant of the 6-core Opteron? If so the design of the HTT 3.0/HTA/DCA/IMC can have increased performance (even slight) with increased Ram. At the socket level itself. I was curious if 6GB's could effect a slight performance benefit between cores on the Thuban. Wether that is slight in compute,query, I/O or what-have-you. Currently getting tech sheets, data sheets and the like on the Thuban at AMD's website is in vain. They all reference the quad Phenom II, not the X6.

So I was curious to see any test, even one that would look at this.
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# Data sheetsOlin Coles 2010-05-02 14:09
If there were any data sheets, I'd be happy to supply them. AMD did not reveal very much at all surrounding the Thuban launch, and the only material we've received is a basic marketing press deck. Once/if a white paper document is available, I'll be happy to post it up.
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# Such things are so helpfulK Gregory 2010-05-02 14:23
This Thuban launch was a BIG deal for AMD, I guess they've been overwhelmed with the entire saga and have been a little negligent on updating their site to reflect current info on the Thuban X6 products.

If you get a hold of the 'goods' from AMD I'll say "Thanks" ahead of time.

-again great review. Also liked your Eco review, along with the review on Fudz####. Good product.
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# you've got a point, butPreston 2011-01-06 23:17
I have been using an asus m3a78-t board with a phenom x4 for awhile and just recently upgraded from 4gb of ddr2 ram to 8gb of ddr2 and I noticed a good jump in my computer performance. Now this is where the fact that you have a point comes into play, I did not really need the extra ram (yet) but I went ahead and bought it because ddr2 is starting to get expensive (stupid marketing strategy IMO, if they brought it down in price rather than up then it would sell much easier, duh). Anyways, I plan to get another year of good use out of my current board and processor unless the 1090T drops to below $100 in price withing the next 12 months, and the 4gb extra ram will for sure help.
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# How do you put in 6GB RAM?Endocine 2010-05-03 08:56
The ASUS mobo used in the testing only has four DIMM slots, how do you put in 6GB of RAM and yet still take advantage of the dual chan mem ctrlr

1+1+2+2 would work but, then you would be using the mobo in a config different from the Intel test, which would be using only one of the tri-chan mem ctrlrs. not that it's even relevant here, because the tests do not appear to be RAM dependent.
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# Irritated with motherboard vendorsPaul Gow 2010-04-29 20:49
I've spent the last 18 months on the x58 platform. Right out of the gate there were a ton of good motherboard options, and I was lucky enough to test most of them. I decided that now would be a good time to switch back to AMD for awhile, and test the Thuban chips. However, I'm quite irritated with vendors, particularly Gigabyte. At release there were only 3 890FX motherboards available through retail channels. Two from Asus, and one from MSI. Seriously? One would think at a significant processor release that Gigabyte, Biostar and Asrock would all be eager for a market share. I think this is particularly true for Gigagyte, as they seemed to be taking a large chunk of Asus's market share on the x58 platform. So, why stall now? I'm disappointed, as I felt forced to buy a Crosshair IV, since the MSI board was the only other real option for me. Grrr.
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# X264 test missingJoeH 2010-04-30 08:17
You guys should really include an x264 benchmark. In my opinion it is the best test of raw CPU power available, and is very commonly used.
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# Not likelyOlin Coles 2010-04-30 08:26
I recently used the x264HD benchmark for the six-core Intel i7-980X article, only to discover that test results were nearly identical to the quad-core i7-920. No thanks.
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# A comparison with i7 920 overclocked to 4.0+ is what I am looking for.Hien 2010-04-30 19:06
Unfortunately, there isn't any. I guess I'll interpolate from the stock i7 920 and the stock x6 1090t
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition Processorrickster 2010-05-01 00:23
Intel's 980X=$1150...." For that kind of money, an entire high-end PC can be built using the AMD platform... which now also offers six processor cores and native SATA 6Gb/s connectivity...."

Well, that pretty well explains Intel's "need you fools to be suckers for punishment" attitude towards the consumer with their 980X, ..., -forget it!
i7-930 does it all and more.
...now that nvidia is outta the way, it'll be Intel's turn soon.
AMD's platforms for this kinda-money, can't be beat. Go AMD go !
;)
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition Processorgordon 2010-05-01 14:41
I see what you mean. I did not know that the amount of memory had no impact on speed but only overall performance. Now that i understand that i would like to ask a question. Is there a large performance difference between dual and tri channel memory? I am currently runnin 6 gigs in a tri channel set up on a ASUS p6t6 revo with an i7 920. Whould you recomend an alternate setup or do you think i am ok leaving things the way they are. Just so you might better understand my system if you would make any recomendations ill quick list it. I appreciate it, and thank you for teaching me something :) Keep up the good work Olin.

i7 920
asus p6t6 mobo
6g ram tripple chan
dual gtx 260 in sli
windows 7 x64
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# Gordon-Paul Gow 2010-05-01 15:18
There is very little real world difference b/t dual and triple channel ram, though the x58 chipset is built for triple channel, so why not take advantage of the minor increase in performance? Your system appears quite good. The i7 920 is the best "bang for buck" processor on the market right now, and is arguably the best "bang for buck" cpu ever. Your motherboard is fairly good too. It's hard to critique your memory, as "6GB of triple chan" doesn't tell me much. I'd need to know the frequency and timings to tell you that. The 260's are slightly aging tech, but they are still more than capable. It would be hard to identify an alternative setup that would be better for you, or better for 99% of enthusiasts. Now, if you were building from scratch, there could be an argument for the new AMD Leo platform with a 1090T. However, you would not really see any significant performance gains from what you already have.

Paul Gow
Lightning PC Systems
Moderator, techpowerup.com
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# RE: Gordon-Stefan 2010-05-02 03:02
RAM manufacturers would have you believe expensive RAM gives much better performance.

1. Matched pairs (or triplets): Not needed. I have a number of hands-on testimonials to the fact that singly purchased value DIMMS work great together.

2. Low-latency RAM will give you blistering performance: Benchmarks show only marginal gains. Low-latency RAM involves increased energy usage, increased heat production and, ultimately, a stressed memory controller.

3. You will benefit massively from RAM able to run at 1600, 1800 or 2000MHz: Again, benchmarks show only marginal improvements. Chipsets have decoupled DIMM clocks from the rest of the system, thus high-MHz RAM isn't a requirement for bus based overclocking (as it used to be).

I would argue that money spent on replacing e.g. 2x2GB 1333MHz Corsair Value Select DIMMs with Corsair TwinX DominatorGT (a price difference of around £120) would be *far* better spent on a faster GPU, CPU or HD.
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# Huh?Paul Gow 2010-05-02 05:16
Matched pairs are certainly not needed, but you can cut out a ton of aggravation with figuring timings and max clock speeds by having matched pair if you do any ram overclocking. I think some quality high speed ram can certainly make a difference, but you have to be smart with this. For instance, I have a 6GB set of DDR3 1066 Crucial "value" ram in one of my systems. Thing is, Crucial used Micron D9JMN IC's in these sticks, so they clock really high on reasonable voltage. Actually, they will clock over 1700mhz 7-8-7-20. That is better than what some people get with their lower end Dominator GT's which have Elpida BSSE ICs.

The suggestion as to a better upgrade is presumptuous, as it really depends on his needs. If he is a gamer or does any encoding, I'd argue that a GPU upgrade could have a more significant impact than the memory upgrade.
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# We somewhat agree?Stefan 2010-05-03 09:03
It all depends what you want to do with your system. If you've already paid out the absolutely maximum you can afford for all of your components and you're looking for more performance then sure, finding how far your RAM will go is certainly an option.

The thing is, to have purchased fast RAM in the first place is of little value when compared to spending that money elsewhere. As you say, a faster GPU can perhaps be the better option. A faster GPU and cheap, Corsair Value RAM is better than a slower GPU and RAM that is advertised as 1800MHz.

I've just advised someone building an AMD system. He presented a list of components, including a Phenom X4 and Corsair Dominator GT RAM. I've told him to get 2 separate sticks of Corsair Value instead and with the money saved he can now get a Phenom X6 with a little money left over.
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# amdterry saunders 2010-05-04 15:38
amd and intel are the same company amd own intel and intel use they stuff
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition ProcessorDavid L 2010-05-06 23:50
Wow, this is an excellent review; one of the most insightful ones if not the most insightful I've read on the 1090t processor. I thought the extra thoughts at the end regarding software as well were really appreciated; shows a holistic approach to the review. Also, these are some of the smartest comments I've read posted by the readers. Half the time I was left in the dust trying to understand (I was trying!) the knowledge you guys have, especially on the dual/triple channel memory debate. On a lot of other sites in no time the comments turn into a shouting match of intel/amd fans.
I don't know how I found this site (I think it was PCPerspective but don't quote me on that) but I'm really glad. I'll start dropping in regularly now. Thanks!
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# I agree David!K Gregory 2010-05-08 09:14
I still come back to this review(and 2 others out there). Also the energetic discussion on the Phenom II X6 1090T definitely added to the 'knowledge share' for anyone who reads through the posts.
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# RE: I agree David!David L 2010-05-10 22:47
Well, do share! What "2 others out there" (reviews or websites) do you check out? I mentioned PCperspective and I like Anandtech some, but if you got any, send them this way. Thanks in advance!
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# I'll give you one... :)K Gregory 2010-05-11 15:56
I'll give you one of the links since it's more 'off the trail' and perhaps a bit harder to come across. And I don't like to link to other review sites.(just my own preference)

##lostcircuits.com/mambo//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=81&Itemid=1

It's a unique review with a bit of healthy discussion as well.
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition ProcessorRhys 2010-05-12 16:22
Making a games console where big companies like EA, and Vivendi Activision, can have a "boot section" off the hard drive on the games console and can install their own optional "dashboard OS", that is company specific, and transparent, and used only apon user fanboy "blizzard" request, but is ALWAYS available from CD to boot, so companies without digital distribution platforms, can still have their own OS, but do not have to "rewrite a dashboard" OS, to sell their own services, and cut out the middle man, and protect their own customers identities, and account information, and passwords. There will be a
default OS, and default Dashboard OS, so the proceess will be transparent, but for power users, they will be able to user WARNER, or EA dashboards, X-box live and Facebook will be "cut out of the loop"
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X6-1090T Black Edition ProcessorTim 2010-05-16 00:14
I agree with how this review tested graphics using the higher resolution and AA etc. I always thought it stupid when other review sites go and benchmark games using some stupid low resolution, that no one would ever use. Its pointless.
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# Hardly pointless.Stefan 2010-05-16 08:34
If a review is solely concentrating on CPU performance, such as if the review is of a newly released CPU, then hobbling the CPU by making it wait for the GPU to finish rendering each frame would be pointless.

The inclusion of high-res and high-detail GPU generated scenes should be present in a CPU review only to balance and contrast against benchmark results where the lowest resolution and detail settings were used. In this way, system builders (like myself) can make accurate assumptions and calculations about overall system performance when considering each individual component. There's no point spending £400 on a GPU (or £800 on dual GPU's) if the CPU is going to bottleneck gaming performance. Likewise, teaming a 6-core CPU with a £20 GPU isn't going to win favour with a customer looking only for stellar gaming performance on their 45" HDTV.
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# Suggestion regarding AMD X6Adi 2010-06-22 06:29
It took me Few hrs to go through the entire content, and its impressive thanks to all the knowledgeable ppl here. After reading all the comments i feel this is a right place to ask my question and it'll be a great help if someone could help.
first lemme tell you the softwares i use often,
Adobe After effects CS5 (64bit), Adobe Photoshop CS5 (64bit), Autodesk MAYA, Autodesk 3Ds MAX (64bit)
Now what i want is to make new rig which'll be used at home, for R & D and some freelance and i'll be using the pc for games also the usage will be 60% work and 40% Games i have to buy almost everything, my budget is $12k .I was thinking of buying:
AMD X4 965
Asus M4A79 T Deluxe
G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 1333 2GBX2
WD Caviar Black 1 TB, SATA 6Gb/s, 64 MB Cache, 7200 RPM
ATI HD 5850
Now m confused X6 or i7 930?? and how much boost in performance?? or if someone can give me a better config at the given price range.
Thanks
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# Don't forget a SSDOlin Coles 2010-06-22 06:32
I think the first thing on your shopping list should have been an SSD. Our storage section is full of SSD reviews.

For what you're doing, the AMD Phenom-II X6 is a better choice.
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# RE: Don't forget a SSDAdi 2010-06-23 01:07
Hey olin, thanks for an early response. I was thinking of buying a SSD but 120GB disk is close to $300 or more don't you think putting two of WD's in RAID 0 array would give me some boost in performance?? as i read in this review that X6 is good for multi threaded applications, I dunno if the softwares am using are multi threaded or not. Also if you could advise me on the Intel i7 should i stick to AMD or go for Intel?
And howz Gigabyte GA-890FXA-UD5 in comparison to ASUS M4A79 T Deluxe

Thanks
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# RE: RE: Don't forget a SSDOlin Coles 2010-06-23 05:59
Adobe applications are mulit-threaded, plus you'll be 'future-proof' as new versions of the software you use becomes avialable. I'd keep with the X6. As for storage, there's a huge difference between one SSD and two VelociRaptor's in RAID-0. Besides, you don't want your O/S on a RAID-0 array without A LOT of backup precautions in place. Finally, the motherboard isn't going to change performance, so pick the one that has features that best suite your needs.
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# RE: RE: RE: Don't forget a SSDSomebody 2010-06-25 06:07
The OS is the best part to put on a raid 0 and requires NO BACKUP. Reason? Simply REINSTALL! You don't lose anything important!

What you don't want on a raid 0 is your DATA.
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# RE: RE: RE: RE:Adi 2010-06-26 07:55
Hey guys thanks for your suggestions but now the question is as olin said SSD's performance is much better then 2 VelociRaptor's in RAID 0 where as i was thinking of using caviar black 64mb cache disk is there a benchmark or any data and even if there is diff then what is the percentage of that??? because if i go with a 250GB SSD its costing a bomb... Please suggest
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# RE: RE: RE: RE: RE:Olin Coles 2010-06-26 08:15
What kind of difference are you wanting quantified? SSDs are a full order of magnitude more responsive than HDDs, and are generally twice as fast (or faster) with large file transfers.
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# Depends.Stefan 2010-06-27 12:57
Only you know what you want to do with your system.

SSD's are faster than VelociRaptors in a RAID0, which are faster than a Caviar Black (even the 7200RPM, 64MB cache, SATA3 one), which are faster than most any other HD you could care to mention.

Size up how fast you want your system to go VS how much storage you really, truly need VS how safe you want your data to be VS how much you want to spend.

Generally, data is replaceable unless it's work you've created. Put that on DVD, USB drives and cloud storage so you don't lose it.

I could put together a system for you which would keep your data absolutely safe whilst being enormously fast and with a bunch of space, but it might cost the wrong side of a year's salary.

Just get the best you can for the money you've got.
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# Great advice ^^Olin Coles 2010-06-27 13:08
That's excellent advice! Thanks for the comment Stefan.
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# ThanksAdi 2010-06-28 05:48
Stefan and olin, Thanks for comments guys... but i think you didnt read my first post... My budget is $1200-1300 (typo 12k its 1.2k)... i know i cant build a super comp in that amount... the only question was keeping in mind my usage if i give you that much money what would you buy?? I think its not that difficult a question... Storage is not a Big problem for me... I reframe the question could you help me selecting components for a PC under $1300.
Thanks
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# My $1200 buildOlin Coles 2010-06-28 06:56
120GB OCZ Vertex-2 LE SSD
Any AMD 890FX motherboard
AMD Phenom-2 X4 processor
4 or 8GB RAM
Radeon HD 5850
700W PSU
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
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# OKStefan 2010-06-28 09:28
Any Asus 890GX motherboard. 890FX boards are ridiculously overpriced and do not offer any feature above 890GX worth paying extra for.
Any single ATI video card. Do not underestimate the performance of a 1GB HD 5670. Brand is not important.

If you can, get a Seasonic PSU with a 90%+ efficiency rating. 650W will be enough. This is by far the best PSU money can buy. Whichever PSU you get, spend at least 10% of your budget on it. Do not be tempted to get a cheap PSU, you *will* regret it.

One 64GB Corsair Nova or 60GB Corsair Force F100 for your OS and Adobe apps.
Two 1.5TB WD EARS Green drives. Set these up as a RAID1 volume. Three partitions. One no less than 8GB only for Windows pagefile. One for your relocated Users folder and one for general storage and installing games.

G.Skill 1.3v RAM. 4GB should be plenty.

Your choice of CPU is then limited by how much you have left in your budget.
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# RE: OKOlin Coles 2010-06-28 12:00
I still stand by the 890FX because they include USB-3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s; I don't believe the 890GX includes these features, so if they're not important stick with 890GX.

The OCZ Vertex-2 LE SSD is slightly more affordable than Corsair's Force series, and both are much better than the Nova and other Indilinx SSDs.
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# Problem Solved...!!Adi 2010-06-29 01:49
Thanks guys... this is what i wanted but olin you chose X4 over X6?? Any specific reason?? And Stefan Should i go for HD 5*** series or firepro V4800??
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# FireProStefan 2010-06-29 04:56
Forgive me working from memory, but I'm sure I understood the FirePro series to be ATI's equivalent of Nvidia's Quadro line. i.e, certified for pro workstation use but practically the same as the gaming series, yet costing much, much more.

Asus offer an 890GX motherboard with USB3 and SATA3. Two features which are really not a big deal. SATA3 isn't going to make anything faster for you and USB3 devices are overpriced. By the time you actually want USB3, you may as well buy a USB3 add-on card if your motherboard doesn't provide it.

You might find an X4 delivers plenty of performance. Dealing with large Adobe projects is more constrained by amount of RAM and speed of HD/SSD. You'd have to be doing fairly complex stuff in order to really tax an X6. Plus, buy the right X4 and you might find you can unlock an extra 2 cores!
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# RE: Problem Solved...!!Olin Coles 2010-06-29 05:21
For what you're planning to use this system for, I think that the money is better spent on an SSD and more RAM... which are more important than another two CPU cores. Also, the Firepro series will obliterate the Radeon series in 2D tasks, but it won't be able to play games decently and is hardly worth the cost.
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# AsusStefan 2010-06-29 05:08
There's an Asus USB3/SATA3 890GX board. However, the price premium of native USB3 is really close to buying a non-USB3 board and then adding a USB3 card.

The Nova is one of the best performing Indilinx generally available, in real-world tests. A couple of synthetic tests show skewed results but in every practical sense, it's an excellent device. It notably doesn't suffer from pausing. I'm more than happy to build them into systems. I'm *more* happier to use Sandforce based SSD's, but people do tend to compare 60GB unfavourably against 64GB, no matter the other advantages.
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# Thank a ton guys...!!Adi 2010-07-01 05:59
Thanks and i think almost everything has been sorted out... Stefan you have been of great help... but i would request you to do the last bit of it... you mentioned buy the right X4... could you suggest which one buy?? and olin in your config. you have selected a HD 5850 i want to hook three monitors with it all HD resolution... do you think it'll be able to give me reasonable performance? or should i go with HD 5850 OR Nvidia GTX 400 Series??
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# RE: Thank a ton guys...!!Olin Coles 2010-07-01 06:09
NewEgg's least expensive Phenom-II X4 is the 3GHz X4-940 Black Edition OEM, and it's worth every penny. As for triple monitors (which you forgot to mention until now), you'll either have to use an Eyefinity-6 video card, two Radeon's, or two GeForce video cards. If you've got the money, go for a Radeon 5870 or even GTX 480, but you'll be limited to two monitors.
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# The right X4Stefan 2010-07-02 11:16
As far as I understand it, the 9xx series of Phenom X4's actually house 6 cores, but 2 are disabled. You may be lucky enough to unlock 2 perfectly working cores. However, there's no guarantee.

As for your triple monitor requirement, an Eyefinity-6 card is not a requirement. The ATI5850 can drive three displays. Their ports differ between manufacturers, but they generally have at least 1 DVI, 1 DisplayPort and 1 HDMI. Armed with the required adapters, you should have no trouble setting up your three monitors. The 5850 still carries the EyeFinity branding, so you'll get full gaming support in the drivers.
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# IndeedStefan 2010-06-25 06:41
Remember to relocate your C:\Users contents to a volume which does have a backup (or is at least a different volume which is not RAI0).
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# A few points ^_^Setsunayaki 2010-07-09 17:50
Processors are not about "clock speed" as much as they are about base ALU and FPU performance. AMD proved this when they released their Athlon 64s vs Pentium 4s years ago. Secondly, AMD releases products in a way that forces Intel to cut the crap and actually make a better product.

Thanks to this X6 release, consumers like myself who already own older Intel Quad Core models can wait and KNOW that since an affordable Hex Core exists by AMD, that Intel can't for too long keep releasing Quad Cores and will have to start making Hex Cores affordable. If not for AMD, INTEL would milk Quad Cores for as long as possible. AMD broke that chain, which makes me happy.

Expect to see Hex Cores become mainstream a lot sooner than later.
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# Market segmentsStefan 2010-07-10 04:54
Selling CPU's isn't all about consumer sales. Intel competes, infact *dominates* in the server segment. AMD don't dominate any market segment, but they do 'fill in the gaps' where Intel doesn't tread. One area is the cheaper end of the market. With AMD I can put together a system based around a £25 CPU which would work fine as a home PC or media server.

With Intel, the only budget option is the Atom line of systems, which are only just performant enough to scrape by in a home PC. A very inflexible solution, as there's no easy, cheap or fine-grained upgrade path.

I don't think Intel will be forced into lowering prices by AMD. Intel are already very competitive at the price points they currently occupy. AMD will remain the ones playing catch-up (think i5). This isn't a bad thing, but don't be fooled into thinking Intel run scared of AMD.

*Choosing* a processor is not about clock speed. It's about identifying your needs and them matching them to a budget.
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# RE: Market segmentsLB 2010-10-22 09:58
Really nice to see that although there are really big differences and lack of knowledge regarding some technical issues composure is kept.

One thing I believe (at least for me) that reviewers left behind is the virtualization aspect/capabilities of these new 6-Core CPUs. Although I have always liked both platforms (and AMD when they were ahead of this "game") I admit that I have been using Intel for the past 6 years.

Now, I want to build a system for some virtual servers and this 6-Core at an affordable price is really nice.
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# Naïve question from a noobThe Techno_Alien 2010-07-18 06:21
I do 3d modeling in Blender.
I really need all the threads i can get, and for less money better. The thing is, i was planning to build a render farm, but i was gonna buy some Core2Quad q9650, and then someone suggested AMD, i did some rapid research and...man, it is so cheap!!
But, after a deeper revision, i found this -correct me if i am wrong-:
The Core2Quad q9650 has 4 cores and 12MB cache.
The Phenom II x6-1090t has 6 cores, but only 9MB cache.
Isint that gonna create a bottleneck? I am no expert,so please explain to me.
And other thing, i need a cheap Motherboard for that, good performance, cheap price, has to be less than $60usd -I am gonna buy lots of them-
Thanx a lot for you attention.
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# Rendering is not AMD's strong pointStefan 2010-07-18 23:56
You might want to reconsider basing your farm on AMD CPU's. Intel still dominates at 3D rendering tasks.

However, to answer your questions: cache will not limit rendering effectiveness. If your models and textures are complex enough that you're considering a render-farm, then cache size is totally irrelevant. Overall system memory bandwidth (and latency, to some extent) will dominate, which is where Core i7 performs superbly.

I would also recommend you not to buy cheap motherboards. Overall stability and system longevity will suffer. You will get more satisfaction having fewer, but more expensive Core i7 systems than many, cheap AMD systems. If at all possible, I would actually consider having perhaps only 1 or 2 systems based around Intel's 6-core Xeon (Westmere) CPU and a Supermicro dual-CPU motherboard.

Loaded up with plenty of ECC RAM, such a system will absolutely scream through render tasks. 12 true cores in one system. Worth it? Sure!
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# AMD Vs IntelADI 2010-07-22 22:38
Hey fellas, sorry was on a long leave... was not well.... stefan now you are contradicting yourself... you suggested me to go with either X4 or X6 and now you are saying intel is better than AMD... and when i asked should i go with i7 930 you said no AMD is better than that...
So, why there is a change in thought its confusing buddy... hope you understand...
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# Horses for courses.Stefan 2010-07-23 04:00
Hi ADI, you're using your one workstation for some Photoshop and yes, 3D work. Also, games. I think an expensive i7 system would be overkill for you. 3D rendering is some of what you do, not all of it. Photoshop gets accelerated by the GPU, with support from the CPU. A 3GHz+ i7 CPU versus a relatively cheap X6 will not give you much of a performance improvement there.

OK, you will see improvement using Maya and 3DS if you spend more to get an i7 system (and I don't mean an i7-930, I'm talking the expensive end of the i7 range). But... you're 40% gaming. An X6 will scream through games. Your GPU will bottleneck games, with the likes of Metro 2033 taxing even SLI Geforce 480's.

Anyone with infinite budget will be best served with a 6-core Intel Xeon CPU. Everyone else needs to consider exactly how many seconds they really need to shave off their 3D render before the price:performance ratio starts to get too steep. Perhaps I've underestimated your 3d rendering needs?
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# PerformanceLeStti 2010-07-30 13:14
my i7 930 @ 3.666
everest=
cpu queen: 42 029
photoworxx: 42 294
cpu zlib: 124 437
cpu aes: 29 239

avec une msi260gtx 20 000 3Dmark06
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# processorsudeep kapoor 2010-09-08 03:47
Thanks for the good informative article.
My next alternative system will be AMD phenom II 1090t. that is for sure.
All the best.
I am a photographer based in INDIA New Delhi.
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# Which Mother is most Suitable Phenom II X6 1090TDSRV 2010-10-21 03:08
Hi All,

Could anyone help me to opt/choose the right motherboard for "AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition Hexa Core Processor", because i fairly do not have any idea as which one to go for, one of the Top Stores in india suggested me to go with GIGB & ASUS...
However i just wanted to check which one is the best as you people have a good knowledge over the products.

My requirement is for a high end purpose for Extreme Gaming and Multimedia.

Your Quick response to this thread would be highly appreciated.

Regards,
DSR V
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# high end mb for 1090TJay 2010-10-23 02:50
I would go with this if you are going for a high end motherboard.:

##newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131667
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# MrKit 2010-11-05 04:37
I stopped contributing to photography sites because the majority of the people there were only interested in a pissing contest relating to hardware. Most of them were not interested in the art but the equipment. Here - I have a real application to do research for with a limited budget. My objective is to find out the economical/functional feasibility of a 1090T based system in a real application that uses 4 cores - and this article did that and more... the number of posts is proof of that. Thanks Olin - keep up the good work. It will come.
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# sirsmith 2011-10-22 17:51
just got the 1090t and am very happy with it. so dam quite :)
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# AMD 1090 Tmr victor 2012-10-16 08:23
i am using this processor since eight months this graf is great this processor really killer..........
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