|AMD Phenom-II X4-975 BE CPU HDZ975FBGMBOX|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Processors|
|Written by Hank Tolman|
|Monday, 03 January 2011|
Page 12 of 13
AMD Phenom-II X4-975BE Final Thoughts
Intel has thrown down the gauntlet with the Sandy Bridge release. Gaming performance wasn't exactly a focus here, since the extreme gaming market is a lot smaller than the up-and-coming media centered market. With smartphones and tablets making such a splash in the market, media transcoding is becoming more popular than ever. Unfortunately, as we have shown in our tests, the Phenom-II X4-975BE lacks the performance necessary to compete with the Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge CPU in these areas.
In my recent experience, I have been disappointed by the Core i5 CPUs and very impressed with the performance of the AMD CPUs for their price. A Phenom-II X4 Black Edition processor would have no problem competing with a similarly priced Core i5 CPU. In fact, a much less expensive Athlon-II X4 processor would be able to compete with a old Core i5 CPU. This is simply not the case anymore.
The ball is in AMD's court now. Intel has released their Sandy Bridge platform and proven that they can give the performance necessary to compete in the mainstream market. AMD's stranglehold on the entry-level market might be in jeopardy as well depending on the performance of the lower end Core i3 Sandy Bridge processors. It's about time for AMD to come up with something new, and I don't mean another series of CPU releases that are just 100MHz speed bumps over their predecessors.
Sometime this year, possibly very soon, AMD will announce the release of their APU, the Brazos chips. These will be the AMD processors that have an integrated GPU on the same die as the CPU. The only problem is, everything we have heard from AMD about the Brazos chips is that they are targeted for low-end mobile platforms. That doesn't give us much hope for a new battle for power in the enthusiast or even mainstream computer market. The money, however, is moving toward mobility. Netbooks, tablets, smartphones, etc. That is where the money is at. I can't say I would be too surprised to see AMD move away from the trying their hand at the enthusiast end, but it would be very a sad day to say the least.
In many ways, with the Sandy Bridge release, Intel has left the door wide open for AMD to come down and sweep away the enthusiast market. Even if they only release a platform that is just comparable, or slightly below, the Sandy Bridge high-end performance, all they have to do is allow for overclocking and they will have a distinct advantage. With all the restrictions on overclocking in the Sandy Bridge platform, AMD should take note of the disgruntlement of the high-end enthusiast market. AMD had brought overclocking to masses with their low-end CPUs. The Athlon-II series was great at overclocking and had a lot of headroom. To make things nicer, they were very inexpensive CPUs, so it didn't cost an arm and a leg to start overclocking, like it will now with the Sandy Bridge CPUs.The bottom line is, AMD needs to do something, and they need to do something big. I don't think Brazos is what the computer gaming and enthusiast market is looking for. I get that software has a long way to go to be able to take advantage of all the hardware power we have now, but I think it will come along. When that happens, all this new Graphical Power will be wasted if we don't get some more high-end, performance based hardware.