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Enter The Dragon: AMD Phenom II X4 940

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News Posted: Thu, Jan 8 2009 12:32 AM

AMD has been fighting an uphill battle on two fronts for the last few years. For a time, fierce competition from NVIDIA, coupled with some of their own problems executing, put the ATI graphics division in a deep hole. And ever since the introduction of the original Core 2 processors, and more recently the Core i7, AMD's processor division has fallen well behind Intel in terms of overall performance.


Starting in November of last year though, we got a sense that AMD was slowly, but surely, clawing its way back into the fight. It began with the introduction of the Spider platform, which consisted of AMD's native quad-core Phenom processors, 7-series chipsets, and 3800-series graphics cards. Individually, the components that made up the Spider platform weren't performance leaders in their respective categories, but ultimately the platform proved to be solid, and of course, it was priced very competitively. The introduction of Spider also marked the first time AMD could offer an entire desktop platform consisting only of AMD-branded processors, core logic, and graphics.


As many of you know, AMD hasn't been sitting idle since the Spider platform introduction. The company's chipset division has launched a handful of new chipsets, featuring one of--if not--the best IGPs on the market and a new Southbridge, the SB750, that allows for higher overclocks through the use of ACC, or Advanced Clock Calibration. The ATI graphics division has also been firing on all cylinders lately, having released a top to bottom lineup of GPUs that compete very favorably at their respective price points. AMD also recaptured the 3D performance crown from NVIDIA for a time with the Radeon HD 4870 X2. AMD wasn't going down without a fight.


With the chipset and graphics divisions on a roll, it was time for the CPU team to pull the trigger on something new and exciting, to complete the new platform trifecta. It took some time, but that's exactly what's happening today. The end result is the Dragon platform which consists of new 45nm Phenom II X4 processors, 7-series chipsets, and ATI Radeon 4000 series graphics cards. We've got the goods in house and will fill you in on all of the juicy details...

Enter The Dragon: AMD Phenom II X4 940




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I am excited for this release....more competition in the CPU market is never a bad thing (and I've been Jones-ing for an AMD build for some reason).

I am worried however that AM3 mobos are going to be priced similiar to i7 mobo's .... anyone have word on this at all? I certainly do not mind spending $250 on a CPU but I will never spend more than $150 on a mobo (just me being stubborn I suppose).

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Hopefully when the Phenom II CPU's are tested on the AM3 socket and with DDR3 memory, they'll beat, or match the Core i7 CPUs. Yes

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Marco C replied on Thu, Jan 8 2009 3:03 AM

No official word on AM3 mobo pricing just yet, but I would bet the farm AMD will undercut Core i7 mobo pricing by a considerable margin.

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Kinda underwelmed with the performance. For the price though wow. I'm not even considering the i7s because of the high price tag for the platform. I wonder if the DDR3 phenoms will edge out the core2quads?

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kid007 replied on Thu, Jan 8 2009 7:21 AM

looking foward in getting a AMD system :) and i know what to get thanks marc for that review!

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Performance loox quite good actually... shows promise! While they may not be able to compete neck & neck with the i7 lineup, competetive pricing will make them a viable option. I've never had an AMD system before, but am not opposed to the idea. Once the platform has completely matured, I may get a top of the line Phenom II to replace my Intel dual core. Ultimately pricing will be the determining factor on what I get next and I suspect that AMD is well aware of this and will set prices accordingly.

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replied on Thu, Jan 8 2009 8:49 AM

For the money this is an excellent package. I may break my long going Intel run and build an AMD PHENOM II.

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Drago replied on Thu, Jan 8 2009 10:06 AM

marco it was November of 2007, not 2008 when the spider platform came out lol. Im thinking you have had this article written before 2009.

Im glad you guys like to do benchmarks, but do you think you could do some that are not MADE for intel chips? POV and cinibench are heavily setup for intel based chips and can take advantage of more SSE instructions.

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Marco C replied on Thu, Jan 8 2009 12:16 PM

Good catch. Fixed. If you have other tests you'd like me to run moving forward, just let me know and I'll see if I can include them. But keep in mind, Phenom II supports SSE, SSE2, SSE3, and SSE4A instructions.

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Good read. I think once AM3 comes out i7 will drop in price to match the AMD Mobo's. Still it looks like AMD is some what back in the game...

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I must admit I do favor AMD over Intel, I guess I just go for the underdog, but your article seems to have overlooked one major thing, ddr3 vs. ddr2.

You do mention it in your article, but the way it is put in the article makes it seems like no big deal. All the Intel cpus are configed with ddr3 chip sets, and the AMD cpus are configed with ddr2 chipsets. Then at the end of the article you say when the new AMD cpus come out for the ddr3 chipsets, it should add a few percentage points to the test results. " A FEW "???  Everything I read about ddr3 cipsets states 20+ percent difference overall, and even more on some tests. To me, that would put AMD right there with  Intel in most tests. I just think you should "stress" the fact that these cpus are not being tested on a level  playing field to begin with, before stating witch is best.

Other than that, GREAT ARTICLE.

Thanks, Ronaldb3555

 

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