AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU Review

Introduction and Specifications


AMD is launching a brand new flagship desktop processor today, dubbed the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. As you can probably surmise from its name--if you're familiar with AMD's naming convention--the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is virtually identical to the 955 it supplants at the top of AMD's desktop processor line-up, save for the 965's higher default clock speed. Whereas the 955 clocked in at a speedy 3.2GHz, the new 965 arrives at a lofty 3.4GHz, making it the highest clocked CPU to come from AMD to date.

The Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is based on the same core as all current socket AM3, quad-core Phenom II processors and it as the same cache configuration and overall feature set. There are some slight differences to its specifications, however, which we have listed for you below. The 965 BE's differentiating features are, as we've mentioned, it's higher frequency of 3.4GHz and also its higher maximum TDP of 140W. Please take note of the higher TDP, as not all socket AM2+/AM3 motherboards will support it.

Once you're done taking a gander at the specifications below, check out some related articles and hunker down for some testing and benchmarks as we find out what
AMD's new Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is made of...

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Processor

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Processors 
Specifications and Features
Model / Processor Frequency: AMD Phenom II Processor Model X4 965 (3.4GHz)
L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor)
L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per X4 processor)
L3 Cache Size (shared): 6MB
Total Cache (L2+L3): 8MB
Memory Controller Type: Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller, capable of being configured for dual 64-bit channels for simultaneous read/writes
Memory Controller Frequency: Up to 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
Types of Memory: Unreg. DIMMs up to PC2 8500 (DDR2-1066MHz) and PC3 1333 (DDR3-1333MHz)
HyperTransport 3.0: One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4000MHz full duplex
Total Processor Bandwidth: Up to 37.3 GB/s bandwidth (Up to 21.3GB/s memory bandwidth)
Packaging: Socket AM3 938-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA) (backward compatible with Socket AM2)
Fab location: GLOBALFOUNDARIES Fab 1 module 1 Dresden, Germany
Process Technology: 45nm (.045-micron) DSL Silicon on Insulator (SOI)
Approximate Transistor count: approx. ~758 million (65nm)
Approximate Die Size: 258 mm2 (45nm)
Nominal Voltage: .0825-1.5 Volts
Max Ambient Case Temp: 65 degress Celsius
Max TDP: 140 Watts
*Note: MC configurable for dual 64-bit channels for simultaneous read/writes
**Note: for DDR3-1333, AM3 boards will support 1-DIMM-per-channel @ 1333MHz

The new Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is an update to AMD's Dragon Platform. The Dragon Platform itself is not new, however. In fact, most of its core components have already been available for quite some time now. As such, we have already covered them in-depth here on HotHardware in previous articles, so we won't do the same again here. We will, however, recommend that you take a look at a few recent articles to get familiar with the underlying technology and components that comprise AMD's Dragon platform.

All of the various 7-series chipset, Phenom, Phenom II, Athlon, and Spider related articles listed above cover the gamut of features that make up the majority of the Dragon the platform--with the exception of the new Phenom II 965 Black Edition featured here, of course.

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