Tuesday, April 15, 2008

AMD Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition Processor Review

Just last month AMD announced the release of the new B3 stepping Phenom CPUs which are meant to solve several problems, or at least those concerning the TLB errata. In order to avoid confusion between the old and new models, AMD has altered their naming scheme to include the Phenom X4 9550 (2.2GHz), 9650 (2.3GHz), 9750 (2.4GHz) and the 9850 (2.5GHz).

In terms of performance, AMD has stated that the new B3 processors will be no faster than the original Phenom X4 CPUs without the TLB erratum fix enabled on a clock-for-clock basis. Therefore the Phenom X4 9600 and the new Phenom X4 9650, for example, should be no different in terms of performance. Just as well that should mean that today’s flagship Phenom, the X4 9850, should sit somewhere between the Phenom 9700 and 9900 processors that we reviewed earlier this year.

Currently the Phenom X4 9850 can be found online for roughly $235. At this price point, the 9850 can be had for roughly the same price as the original 9600, which is quite remarkable. Even more so considering this is a “Black Edition” processor, in other words it features an unlocked multiplier for improved overclocking headroom. This price point also puts the fastest clocked Phenom X4 head to head with the highly regarded Core 2 Quad Q6600, which is the cheapest quad-core CPU you can get from Intel.

TechSpot has put together a rather in depth comparison featuring the Phenom 9500, 9600, 9700, 9850, 9900 and Intel's e8400 and Q6600. Overall the numbers where not surprising, the Q6600 still reigns supreme.

The numbers that did surprise me however where the overclocking results. Even with the unlocked multiplier they could only pull out another 200mhz. Needless to say thats a very poor oc!

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