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Written by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 04 November 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
AMD Phenom-II X4-965 BE 125W CPU HDZ965FBK4DGM
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Phenom-II X4-965 BE
Testing and Results
EVEREST CPU Benchmarks
PCMark Vantage System Tests
Pro/ENGINEER Benchmark
Devil May Cry 4 Benchmark
Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Resident Evil 5 Tests
X4-965 Overclock Results
Power Consumption
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

AMD Phenom-II X4-965 BE HDZ965FBK4DGM

In this article, Benchmark Reviews tests the newly re-vamped AMD Phenom-II X4-965 BE desktop processor. For all intent and purpose, the AMD Phenom-II X4-965 Black Edition processor has not changed. The model number is now HDZ965FBK4DGM, and the total TDP is down from 140W to 125W. The X4-965 CPU still honors the AM3 socket, and uses a 45nm process to construct the 258mm2 die. GlobalFoundries FAB1 has added C1E implementation on the hardware level, and DDR3 is now supported at 1333MHz for 'Heavy' loads. Ultimately though, the 3.4GHz is still the same overclocking beast it always has been, and performance is relatively unchanged.

To some degree, there really isn't much more to be said about the new X4-965 HDZ965FBK4DGM-model processor. AMD, like any good company worth their reputation, updates their product line whenever possible. Benchmark Reviews, like any good hardware website, seeks to discover the value locked away inside this product. But the AMD Phenom-II X4-965 BE processor is really a true dichotomy: it offers unlocked overclocking potential, while at the same time improves energy efficiency and conserves electricity. So which will it be?

That's the real question, and in more ways than one. Although the AMD X4-965 is priced a few dollars less than the Intel Core i5-750, these two processors have very different clock speeds. The more-expensive i5-750 operates at 2.66GHz, while the less-expensive Black Edition 965 operates at 3.4GHz. Quite the conundrum, considering that a real apples-to-apples comparison would involve the 3.33GHz Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition CPU... to the tune of $999.99. In reality, the Core i5-750 makes a better comparison product, since five brand new Black Edition 965's cost the same as only one Intel Core i7-975.


Back in April (2009), Benchmark Reviews covered the release of AMD's flagship quad-core processor, the Phenom-II X4 955 BE. The X4 955 was an outstanding product, and ushered in the era of the Phenom-II process. A few months later in August, AMD revealed the X4-965 Black Edition processor (model HDZ965FBGIBOX). With the publication of this article (November), AMD refreshes their Phenom-II X4-965 BE flagship processor just in time to compete against Intel's recently launched Core i5 series. Coming in at 3.4GHz the AMD X4-965 happens to be the highest clocked CPU on the market, but is it the best at its price point?

Aside from some small fabrication refinements and the inclusion of hardware-level C1E implementation, the 3.4GHz Phenom-II X4-965 isn't much different than its 140W counterpart. You can also expect the same architectural benefits, including socket AM2/AM2+/AM3 compatibility, 8MB total cache (L2 and L3), and a 128-bit DDR2-DDR3 memory controller. Of course, the Intel Core i5-750 Processor BX80605I5750 isn't designed to run in the face of competition.

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.



# DDR2???Rapture 2010-03-10 06:06
Why would you test AMD's flagship processor with DDR2 memory??? You're practically giving Intel's i5 processor the edge in all the benchmarks!
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# Not reallyOlin Coles 2010-03-10 07:15
Since the DDR2 we tested was the same speed as the DDR3 there wouldn't be any noticeable difference, let alone a measurable one. I suggest that you read our "DDR3 RAM: System Memory Technology Explained" article located at

Even if they both used the exact same memory kit for each system, the Intel i5 would still have the advantage of an integrated multimedia controller directly on the CPU.
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# A little Deceptive ....James Smith 2010-03-27 02:57
Care to Re-Run those Benchmarks with the i5 @ 4ghz and Amd 965 both at 4ghz? Clock for Clock AMD does less ,it's Just the Way it is ...Amd is for Budget gamers and intel is for Enthusiasts (with money),Simple...(I'm not a "Fan Boy" ) I've bought Both...
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# huh?wipeout 2010-06-07 16:05
the phenom 2 has a memory controller directly on the cpu. didnt you know this?
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# RE: huh?Olin Coles 2010-06-07 16:09
Yes, I know this... it's in all of our reviews. Did you mean the the integrated multimedia controller? That's what I had referred to.
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# overclocking to 4.0mark 2010-06-12 09:06
i have the same CPU as you do. i have a h50 CPU cooler, 2X2gb g-skill of ram, 1tb caviar black and ASUS M4A78T-E motherboard. i've been looking for the right settings to put in my bios, but never succeeded. whenever i would run a stress test it would crash after a few seconds. usually in order for it to be stable, the test has to run for an hour or 2. mind helping me out?
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# What are your settings?Olin Coles 2010-06-12 09:42
You really didn't give us any usable information, such as voltage and BIOS settings.
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# RE: AMD Phenom-II X4-965 BE 125W CPU HDZ965FBK4DGMmark 2010-06-14 21:46
woops, my bad. voltage: 1.5 - bus: 200 - multiplier: 20 and the rest is set to Auto.
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# RE: RE: AMD Phenom-II X4-965 BE 125W CPU HDZ965FBK4DGMOlin Coles 2010-06-15 06:57
Take a look at this overclocking guide:
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