AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition CPU Review

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Cinebench R11.5 is a 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation tool suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others.  It's very demanding of system processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput.

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering

This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.


We saw more of the same with the Cinebench R11.5 benchmark. The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition was the fastest quad-core we tested, save for the Core i5-2500. The six-cores once again led the pack.

Audio Encoding

In our custom LAME MT MP3 encoding test, we convert a large WAV file to the MP3 format, which is a popular scenario that many end users work with on a day-to-day basis to provide portability and storage of their digital audio content.  LAME is an open-source mid to high bit-rate and VBR (variable bit rate) MP3 audio encoder that is used widely around the world in a multitude of third party applications.

In this test, we created our own 223MB WAV file (a hallucinogenically-induced Grateful Dead jam) and converted it to the MP3 format using the multi-thread capable LAME MT application in single and multi-thread modes. Processing times are recorded below, listed in seconds. Shorter times equate to better performance.


Intel's processors own the LAME MT benchmark. The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition put up some very respectable numbers in light of the other AMD processors, but Intel's chips were fastest overall.

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LBowen 3 years ago

Great Review, I was expecting the AMD processor to beat Intel in at least one test but I guess they are waiting until their next big release. Love to see competition between Intel and AMD which tends to equal improvements and better pricing for us consumers.

Intel gets the cake on this one though with the more powerful and energy conserving processor. The cake is double-layered and has strawberries.

Drake_McNasty 3 years ago

Great review Marco, I had no idea they were releasing another phenom x4. That puppy sucks down the juice!!!! I feel like most people have their 955 or 965 oc'd past 3.7 already and are waiting for bulldozer at this point before they upgrade.

coolice 3 years ago

I'll be honest... i've given up on this line.... I dont care what cpu they come out with for this architecture, am going to wait to see whats next. Nothing against HH or Marco.... but this product, it feels almost redundant.

coolice 3 years ago

maybe its just the mood i'm in (I dont have a job, and the weather in Toronto the past couple of weeks has been sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Gloomy), but after reading this article, i was just like... Meh, whatever AMD.

AKwyn 3 years ago

So AMD put the most performance they can into this processor, just like what Intel did with it's 2006 Extreme Edition.

Not to say they're not bad processors but they're clearing out to make way for Bulldozer, which I'm very excited for.

rrplay 3 years ago

Can't really get all that excited about this processor  but it may be an upgrade for some that are just buying a bit of time before a total system upgrade .Just think that a 965/970 would be a much better value with the OC. would still need a better heatsink ...anyways how much time would one want to buy ?

Thanks Marco for the review and with grey and chilly weather around here lately [most unusual for May]

I'll take a prolonged kat-snooooze with this one.


Mishotaki 3 years ago

so... it gets it's ass kicked by an intel processor that is twice it's price? i'd rather get most of a new system at the same price that the i7 970 cost instead of paying double of what it should cost me to make a new rig...

rrplay 3 years ago

I was actually referring to:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz  $140.00
AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Deneb 3.6GHz  $190.00

not the Intel's at all,

for an upgrade for those that already have AM3 sockets.


RonJohn 3 years ago

Worse. At NewEgg, the i7-970 is 3.65x more expensive than the Phenom II X4 970 but is only 20% faster at PCMarks, and 46% faster at "Communications" (whatever that is...).

detnight 3 years ago

I think I see one of these in going into my rig very soon

DHampton 3 years ago

One thing that is funny if you look at benchmark result of phenom II processors vs I-7 the i7 is considerably faster at impractical applications like super low res gaming wierd compression formats. But the phenom II is on par or passing at medium high res gaming. And regular zip iso formats that being said the i7 is 3.5 times more expensive. Also not to mention I have had 100% success rate buying the phenom II x2 555 processor and unlocking to 955 so 89 dollars and I now have a i7 940 equivalent.

But at this point I think unless your seriously behind the curve you should wait to buy. Till new line comes out

Crisis Causer 3 years ago

Has anyone actually seen these for sale?  I haven't seen them in stock anywhere.

rrplay 3 years ago

[quote user="Crisis Causer"]

Has anyone actually seen these for sale?  I haven't seen them in stock anywhere.


Provantage had them at 205.00 out of stock at this time If you need the AM3 socket the 975 Black Edition

just OC the difference and use a decent cooler

samin62 3 years ago

again AMD delivers with amazing price point, can't believe I used to be a intel fanboy.

LBowen 3 years ago

Can't believe you guys are just giving this away, HotHardware is so freaking awesome.

PMontoya 3 years ago

i like that amd is bringing out this well priced products

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