AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition for AM3

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AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition

Apr. 23, 2009 by Lawrence Lee

Product AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition AM3 Processor
Manufacturer AMD
Volume Price US$245

The release of the Phenom II series of processors was a step in the right direction for AMD. The new design generated more performance per clock and allowed for higher frequency chips. Priced aggressively, the Phenom II X4 920 and 940 Black Edition were economically viable alternatives for Intel's Core 2 line. It wasn't a knockout blow, but AMD had in essence, caught up. The X4 920 and 940 however are AM2+ processors, and AMD is currently in the middle of a transitioning to the new AM3 socket with DDR3 memory support. Up to this point their AM3 processors have lagged behind the X4 940's 3.0 GHz clock speed.

Today AMD unveils the newest AM3 members of the Phenom II family. The X4 945 matches the X4 920's 3.0 GHz frequency while the X4 955 Black Edition (with unlocked multiplier) becomes AMD's new flagship CPU, clocked at 3.2 GHz.


Our X4 955 Black Edition sample.

The new Phenoms have the same amount of cache and power rating as their AM2+ counterparts, though they are clocked much higher than AMD's current AM3 lineup. The X4 955 BE and 945 supplant the X4 940's top position, and in anticipation of this release, AMD has dropped the 940's price making it an extremely attractive option. The aggressive pricing makes it clear as day that AMD wants to battle Intel on value.

Model
Freq.
Total L2 Cache
L3 Cache
Socket
TDP
Best Retail
Mfg. Price
Intel Q9650
3.00 GHz
12MB
N/A
LGA775
95W
$322
$316
Intel Q9550
2.83 GHz
12MB
N/A
LGA775
95W
$269
$266
X4 955 BE
3.20 GHz
2MB
6MB
AM3
125W
TBD
$245
X4 945
3.00 GHz
2MB
6MB
AM3
125W
TBD
$225
Intel Q9400
2.66 GHz
6MB
N/A
LGA775
95W
$220
$213
X4 940 BE
3.00 GHz
2MB
6MB
AM2+
125W
$169
$195
X4 920
2.80 GHz
2MB
6MB
AM2+
125W
$169
$195
X4 810
2.60 GHz
2MB
4MB
AM3
95W
$168
$175
X3 720 BE
2.80 GHz
1.5MB
6MB
AM3
95W
$134
$145
X3 710
2.60 GHz
1.5MB
6MB
AM3
95W
$119
$125

The new Phenom II may not be more power efficient, as they retain the original Phenom II's thermal design power rating of 125W. This higher power draw will translate into higher electricity bills, possibly enough to offset any savings gained by taking advantage of AMD's tempting prices depending on the amount of usage. The X4 955 BE's direct competitor is the 95W Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550, a 2.83 GHz chip priced about $20 higher.



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