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 Post subject: Phenom II: AMD pulls closer
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:15 am 
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Phenom II: AMD pulls closer

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:18 am 
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Good review. My only confusion is power consumption. Lost-Circuits shows the Phenom II 940 as consuming ~ what a QX9650 does under load. Other reviews only have Phenom II 940 systems using ~6-10W more under full CPU load. Lost-Circuits tested the chip with two different boards, an Asus and a Gigabyte. Testing with the Gigabyte added ~5W to idle and 9W to load power. I think we need more info on power consumption, and more testing of the actual CPU power required. Or at least, I'd be interested in seeing such a comparison.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:34 am 
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Thanks for the review. I'd love to read about the Phenom II undervolting potential, instead of overclocking potential. I visit SPCR because this is the place where focus is on silent/efficient computers. If I want overclocking results, I'll visit the sites you listed in the end of your article. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:18 am 
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Esben wrote:
Thanks for the review. I'd love to read about the Phenom II undervolting potential, instead of overclocking potential. I visit SPCR because this is the place where focus is on silent/efficient computers. If I want overclocking results, I'll visit the sites you listed in the end of your article. :)


Thats similar to my thoughts as well. One interesting comparison that I felt is missing is a test on the efficiency curve. Let me explain, we all know that the stock settings isn't the most powerefficient settings, so what I propose is a test where a 3rd party program (one of those most of us use anyways) is used to change the voltage to the lowest setting that would support stock clocks and compare power usage at those settings.

(Efficiency curve = the minimum voltage needed to achieve a certain clock speed)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:37 am 
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Forum thread link is broken :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:51 pm 
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According to Anandtech, the AM3 boards have the exact same socket...and use the same CPU's!

It has BOTH memory controllers built into the chip, since the physical differences are basically only on the memory socket side of the equation.

Also, did you use the AMD Overdrive Utility at all to squeeze higher performance out of the chip with the AMD 750 southbridge involved?

Otherwise, I really only looked at SPCR and Anandtech's reviews, they also did a chart demonstrating performance vs platform cost--obviously Intel wins on pure performance, but AMD has a price point more people may like. Of course they did suggest Intel will probably hit back with price cuts across the C2Q lineup.

Either way, I'm happy, if I get a newer build anytime soon it will be DAAMIT across the board.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:03 pm 
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I was surprised to see how well PII DDR2 combo actually comepeted against C7i DDR3. When looking like Guru 3D tests, PII was able to beat some C7I's in game tests... That I am impressed.

I have to agree: AMD is back on the saddle and challenging the Intel, even these CPU's are not challenging Intels $999 CPU's... But performance/Price ratio is very, very good...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:43 pm 
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psiu wrote:
According to Anandtech, the AM3 boards have the exact same socket...and use the same CPU's!

It has BOTH memory controllers built into the chip, since the physical differences are basically only on the memory socket side of the equation.


Not quite. You can't put an AM2 or AM2+ chip in an AM3 board. You can put an AM3 chip in an AM2+ board.

As to the socket differences.

DDR
Socket 939 is 939 pins Hypertransport 1.x up to 1.0 GHz

DDR2
AM2 is 940 pins HyperTransport 2.0 up to 1.0 GHz
AM2+ is 940 pins HyperTransport 3.0 up to 2.6 GHz

DDR3
AM3 is 938 pins HyperTransport 3.x HyperTransport up to 3.2 GHz

there are changes to the motherboards more than just name and the Hypertransport speeds, and memory types.

AM2+ gives you split power planes (which are present on AM3 as well). Putting a processor in a AM2 socket that has split power capability would probably mean it would use more power because CoolnQuiet couldn't power down the CPU cores and memory controller separately.

In addition to reducing the abilities of CoolnQuiet you'll restrict the newer CPU to older Hypertransport modes at lower clock speeds.

Even if you can put a newer processor in an old board it won't be as fast as putting the same processor on a newer board. The nice thing is that means AMD doesn't have to specifically make a crippled Celeron equivalent. You can take that shiny new AM3 chip made two years from now at a low cost and put it in an old motherboard and save the cost of buying a new motherboard + ram. The key for that will be to wait for the AM3 equivalent to the 4850e something mid speed with a lower TDP but with the L3 cache and maybe a third or fourth core (I'm fine with 2, 3, or 4 cores I'm not picky on that one).

Think about it down the road when a 780G board or equivalent is entry level and AM3 chips are common and you can pick a cheaper lower TDP AM3 part to put in your 780G AM2+ board. I don't know how many months or years that is away but that is what I'm looking towards. These high TDP first few months parts aren't the product SPCR types want.

This month it is 125W Phenom IIs, Next month there will be 95W Phenom IIs, sometime down the road there will be a lower TDP. It's when I see the TDP below 95W pop up that this will really get my attention.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:03 pm 
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Lawrence Lee on page 7 wrote:
Can you re-use your AM2/AM2+ motherboard when upgrading to Phenom II? If you know that your board is limited to 95W processors, you're probably out of luck.


No, you'll just have to wait another month for the 95W AM3 parts to come out and then plug an AM3 part into an AM2+ motherboard.

Not out of luck, just have to wait.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:05 pm 
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I am just reading through the "X-Bit Labs" review (always good quality). The chip that caught my attention was the X3 720 (possibly the X3 710 if the 720 is expensive).

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/di ... -x4_3.html

Interestingly its a 3 core CPU, but its an AM3 chip which also means its AM2 compatable. More specifically, it has ALL of the 6MB of cache but as its only shared between 3 cores it should outperform the lower clocked x4 CPU's with only 4MB of L3 in many tests, and it is an unlocked chp as well.

Personally I see no point in the existance of the Phenom 2's in AM2 form at all, as they will be superseded by the AM3 Phenom 2's in just 1 months time.!!! Very bizarre marketing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:18 pm 
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p6: To overclock get it to 3.8GHz, another 0.05V of CPU voltage and a 0.10V increase in Northbridge voltage were required.
p7: AMD might not have closed the gap with Intel, yet, but we're to happy to see ...




I buckled and got the Q8200 cause it was on sale in a local shop. Mainly cause it should be much easier to cool when oc'd than any x4 competing with it for encoding tasks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:18 pm 
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andyb wrote:
I am just reading through the "X-Bit Labs" review (always good quality). The chip that caught my attention was the X3 720 (possibly the X3 710 if the 720 is expensive).

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/di ... -x4_3.html

Interestingly its a 3 core CPU, but its an AM3 chip which also means its AM2 compatable. More specifically, it has ALL of the 6MB of cache but as its only shared between 3 cores it should outperform the lower clocked x4 CPU's with only 4MB of L3 in many tests, and it is an unlocked chp as well.

Personally I see no point in the existance of the Phenom 2's in AM2 form at all, as they will be superseded by the AM3 Phenom 2's in just 1 months time.!!! Very bizarre marketing.


Andy


yes, I agree that this is the am3 chip I am waiting for. multi cores yet has to be less wattage and ddr3.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:17 pm 
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andyb wrote:
Personally I see no point in the existence of the Phenom 2's in AM2 form at all, as they will be superseded by the AM3 Phenom 2's in just 1 months time.!!! Very bizarre marketing.


I see two possibilities

1. get more money from the easily excited early adopter type while getting rid of parts that don't bin in the mid TDP bracket (doubly good for AMD)

2. get more money down the road from the clueless type that buys on spec without understanding that there is a compatible part with a different name. At least they'll get something that might be friendlier to working with an older BIOS maybe (I'm reaching for straws here)

I'm an AMD fan but I don't see much advantage for me in looking at buying 125W parts at early adopter prices.

I am happy to see the 95W parts are soon to follow. Shouldn't be too hard to wait the extra month or so.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:27 am 
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dhanson865 wrote:
psiu wrote:
According to Anandtech, the AM3 boards have the exact same socket...and use the same CPU's!

It has BOTH memory controllers built into the chip, since the physical differences are basically only on the memory socket side of the equation.


Not quite. You can't put an AM2 or AM2+ chip in an AM3 board. You can put an AM3 chip in an AM2+ board.


I meant that you won't be stuck with an outdated "new" chip on an old socket, not that the old chips would work in the new sockets (because of the DDR3 switch).

But you could get a Phenom II now and throw it in an existing board and then later upgrade the motherboard/RAM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:54 am 
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Excellent review, thank you. Asus lists AM3 ready mobos here:

http://event.asus.com/mb/AM3%5FCPU%5FSupport/

It's kind of misleading though, seems that true AM3 mobos will have an M4 prefix. Also Asus manuals for these boards don't list any compatible DDR3 memory modules. AMD's advantage is their very flexible upgrade path, everything is mix-and-match. They even show that M2NPV-VM has 'CPU support' for the Phenom quad core 9450 HD9450ODJ4BGH !?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:48 am 
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This review has no temperature readings. I need to know how hot the CPU runs to have a clue if it can be cooled silently. I'm assuming it runs a lot hotter than the equivalent Intel Q9400.

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 Post subject: Too hot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:41 am 
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The C2D 8400 was a good choice for me. I think the Tech Report shows how capable the 8600 is against the quad core chips. They overclock easily if I get desperate. Plus, not too much heat. :)

I'm down to a 4850e and the 8400. I could easily get away with two 4850e chips, if I had to.

AMD and Intel need to get the TDP down if they want me to buy them. We had a good trend for a while... :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:20 am 
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danielG wrote:
This review has no temperature readings. I need to know how hot the CPU runs to have a clue if it can be cooled silently. I'm assuming it runs a lot hotter than the equivalent Intel Q9400.


That's because I don't trust the actual numbers temperature sensors report, and it's completely hopeless to try to compare them cross-platform.

I can tell you the Zerotherm Zen 120 heatsink cooled it very well with a Nexus fan. The heatsink barely got warm and the difference between idle and load was only 15C. It got VERY warm with the Xigmatek SD964 - it wasn't enough IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Too hot
PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:15 am 
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notquitequiet wrote:
AMD and Intel need to get the TDP down if they want me to buy them.

Just wait another month and AMD will have 95W TDP 3.0GHz models knocking at your door. ;) Which will hopefully perform the same at a lower voltage, thus lowering the temperature and juice used, while at the same time heightening the ceiling to their overclocking potential!

Raaah, good times.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:14 am 
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At xtremesystems a user did some undervolting for us. Granted, his system is a power hog, here's the thread,
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=162296&page=40, his work is mostly on the last two pages.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 10:25 pm 
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lack of ddr3 and non efficient parts that dont go as fast as cooler, cheap intel dual cores.

whoever buys one of them is a sucker x3.

the only reason is to get one for an old mobo right?


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