Phenom II: AMD pulls closer

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Our test platform consists of a Phenom II 940 Black Edition and a Gigabyte 790GX motherboard.

The Phenom II 940 Black Edition is clocked at 3.0GHz and is factory unlocked. As this first iteration of Phenom II does not require a socket change, the CPU looks identical to other AM2 processors.

The test motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H, a high-end board utilizing the AMD 790GX chipset.

The board has more or less the same feature-set as an X58 i7 board. It lacks eSATA but has HD 3300 integrated graphics with 128MB of sideport memory. As it uses an AMD chipset, only CrossFire is supported — no SLI. DDR2 memory is used instead of DDR3 — Phenom II won't get DDR3 support until the AM3 socket debuts later this quarter.

Our test platform consists of mostly the same hardware used to evalute the Core i7 920: A GeForce GTX 260 graphics card, Intel solid-state drive, and an Asus Blu-ray drive. The only changes are the heatsink and power supply. More on that later.

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