AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition CPU Review

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Our Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition performed as expected throughout our entire battery of tests. AMD’s latest quad-core proved to be marginally faster than its lower-clocked Phenom II X4 counterparts in single and multi-threaded workloads, and due to its relatively high frequency, it matched and even occasionally exceeded the performance of AMD’s six-core processors in single-threaded workloads. Intel’s processors, however, continue to outperform their AMD-built competitors. The Sandy Bridge-based Core i5-2500 in particular offered strong performance, and it’s available for only a few dollars more.

Current owners of a socket AM2+ or AM3-based systems looking for an easy upgrade that won’t require a complete system tear-down can take solice in the fact that the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is AMD’s fastest quad-core processor to date. Although its performance can't match that of Intel's, the X4 980 BE isn't a poor performer by any means. Toss that older CPU up on eBay to make a few bucks and slap the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition in its place and you’ll be tooling along at a cool 3.7GHz, with the same unlocked multipliers of previous Black Editions for some quick and easy overclocking.

Another Look At The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition

The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition will be available almost immediately for just under $200 ($195 to be exact), occupying the spot previously held by the Phenom II X4 975 BE. Prices on the other members of the Phenom II X4 900 family will drop accordingly. Newer processors and platforms are on the horizon, however, from both AMD and Intel. So for those users contemplating a completely new system build, the Phenom II X4 980 BE might not be the right choice.

  • Good Performance
  • Fastest AMD quad-core To Date
  • Priced Under $200
  • Easy Upgrade For AM2+/AM3 Owners


  • Can't Compete With Sandy Bridge
  • The Last Of A Dying Breed?


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