AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE

AMD’s release new quad core processor!
 
AMD Phenom IIAs time has gone by, it’s become widely accepted that AMD’s 45nm processors have much to offer to a vast number of consumers. Starting from the runt of the pack, the Sempron 140 2.70GHz single core all the way to the bang per buck monster, the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition, the CPU manufacturer has aggressively pitched their processors against the entire Intel Celeron, Pentium and Core 2 range, often with lower price tags and/or higher clock-speeds. That’s not all because there’s also a cracking selection of motherboards from £40 to around £150, most of which sporting the infamous AMD SB710/750 southbridges, which can often unlock the cores of selected CPU’s, unlock CPU Multipliers and unlock missing L3 cache. When you factor in that LGA775 will soon be as dead as a dodo and with AMD’s plans to retain the same socket for future releases at least into 2011 (according to road maps), Socket AM3 CPU’s have arguably become the #1 choice for all users barring the “extreme” performance enthusiasts.
 
So you’d think that after making so much progress after over two years of falling considerably short of Intel’s offerings, AMD have some scope to feel a little smug? Sadly, far from it I’m afraid. They may have Intel’s line up attended to, right up to the Core 2 Quad Q9650 with it’s Phenom II X4 955 3.20GHz Black Edition but only in a matter of weeks, there’ll be a new kid on the block who goes by the name of Lynnfield. To be more precise, Lynnfield is Intel’s mainstream variant of the existing Nehalem Core i7 but on a new socket, LGA1156. Boasting the same architecture as the number crunching LGA1366 Core i7’s, minus Triple Channel Memory, Quickpath Technology, the upcoming lineup is expected to pack a considerable punch within a smaller and less complex package which will inevitably cost the consumer considerably less. It remains to be seen how well these processors will perform and how well they will overclock but if one thing is for sure, now of all days would be the worst time for AMD to sit back with their favourite glass of single malt, watch some television then perhaps go for a nap. After all, if one fail’s to prepare then one must prepare to fail and this is exactly what happened when the previous performance champion, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 series received a punch in the face by the well received Core 2 Duo “Conroe” core…And on that bomb shell I wish to present to you the latest addition to the Phenom II family. Meet the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition.
 
Model Clock Speed L2 Cache L3 Cache Voltage TDP Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz 2MB 6MB 0.875 – 1.5v 140w Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz 2MB 6MB 0.875 – 1.5v 125w Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz 2MB 6MB 0.85 – 1.25V 95w Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition 3.0GHz 2MB 6MB 0.875 – 1.5v 125w Phenom II X4 920 2.8GHz 2MB 6MB 0.875 – 1.5v 125w Phenom II X4 910 2.6GHz 2MB 6MB 0.875 – 1.425v 95w Phenom II X4 905e 2.5GHz 2MB 6MB 0.825 – 1.25v 65w Phenom II X4 900e 2.4GHz 2MB 6MB  0.850 – 1.25v 65w Phenom II X4 810 2.6GHz 2MB 4MB 0.875 – 1.425v 95w Phenom II X4 805 2.5GHz 2MB 4MB 0.875 – 1.425v 95w
  
So here it is. Another AMD Phenom II based on the Deneb core. 6MB of unified Level 3 cache, 512kB of Level 2 Cache per core and a frisky 2000MHz on the Northbridge Clock. Aside, a 200MHz clockspeed increment, it is no different to the previous Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition. Ah, though it does have a 140W TDP, a 15W increase from the 955BE. From what I gather so far, it’s essentially the existing Phenom II with a clockspeed hike along with an increase in reference CPU Voltage to compensate for varying yields on the production line. Going by my previous experiences with overclocking AMD Phenom II processors, I would hope that this is more of a precaution rather than a requirement and that the yields of the Deneb core are improving quite nicely. All should soon be revealed when we get round to overclocking our sample.
 
So here’s a couple of questions that need answering. How much of a performance gain can be had from another 200MHz increment? Is this processor worth the £175 price tag? We’ll soon find out.
 
As usual at Overclock3D, to ensure all reviews are fair and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used when ever it is possible. The systems we will be using today will consist of the following;
 
AMD Phenom II Systems
CPUZProcessors
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition 3.2GHz
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz

Motherboard
Gigabyte MA770T-UD3P

Cooling
OCZ Gladiator MAX

Memory
4GB (2x2GB) DDR3-1333 Corsair Dominator

Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 896MB

Hard Disk Drive
500GB Maxtor DiamondMax 22 (SATA 3Gb/s)

Power Supply
Tuniq Ensemble 1200w

Graphics Drivers
Geforce WHQL 190.38

Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate SP2 (x64)

 
Intel Core I7 System
Processors
Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz

Motherboards
Biostar TPower X58A

Cooling
OCZ Gladiator MAX

Memory
6GB (3x2GB) DDR3-1333 Corsair Dominator

Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 896MB

Hard Disk Drive
500GB Maxtor DiamondMax 22 (SATA 3Gb/s)

Power Supply
Tuniq Ensemble 1200w

Graphics Drivers
Geforce WHQL 190.38

Operating System
Windows VIsta Ultimate SP2 (x64) 

 
Intel Core 2 Duo System
Processors
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz

Motherboards
ASUS ROG Maximus II Gene P45

Cooling
OCZ Gladiator MAX

Memory
4GB (2x2GB) DDR2-1066 Buffalo Firestix

Graphics Card
NVIDIA GeForce GTX260 896MB

Hard Disk Drive
500GB Maxtor DiamondMax 22 (SATA 3Gb/s)

Power Supply
Tuniq Ensemble 1200w

Graphics Drivers
Geforce WHQL 190.38

Operating System
Windows VIsta Ultimate SP2 (x64) 

  
Now let’s move on to the results…