AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 6-Core Processor Review

Performance Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: The new AMD Phenom II X6 1090T six-core processor performed very well throughout our entire battery of benchmarks. In the more heavily multi-threaded tests, the additional processor resources of the Phenom II X6 1090T allowed it to pull well ahead of AMD's previous flagship quad-core CPU, the Phenom II X4 965. And in all but a couple of tests, performance of the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T fell somewhere in between the Intel Core i7 870 (Lynnfield) and i7 975 (Bloomfield), although it was much closer to the 975 more often than not. With single or lightly-threaded workloads the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T also performed well, and thanks to its support for Turbo CORE technology, it was able to surpass the Phenom II X4 965 in these tests as well, despite the latter's higher default clock speed (3.2GHz vs. 3.4GHz). With that said, the 6-core Intel Core i7 980X was significantly faster overall, but it is also 3x the price of the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T.

First things first. We really like the new AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor. It may not be the undisputed performance champion in light of Intel's excellent offerings, but all things considered, the Phenom II X6 1090T is a heck of processor for under $300 and it's undeniably the fastest to ever come out of AMD. Our tests showed the 1090T performing in roughly the same neighborhood as the Core i7 870 and Core i7 975 depending on the application, but the Phenom II X6 1090T costs hundreds of dollars less than both. Turbo CORE worked as advertised and helped push the 1090T's performance ahead of AMD's previous flagship Phenom II X4 965 in some lightly-threaded workloads.  The Phenom II X6 1090T also overclocked well, and its power consumption is right in line with previous-gen quad-cores. Factor in the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor's compatibility with existing socket AM2+ and AM3 motherboards and it's a compelling option to be sure, other than the fact that Intel still has a performance advantage at the ultra high end.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T In The MSI 890FXA-GD70 Motherboard

AMD is officially launching two six-core processors today, the $285 AMD Phenom II X6 1090T we looked at here and the lower-clocked $199 Phenom II X6 1055T. An X6 1035T and a Phenom II X4 960T quad-core based on Thuban should be arriving soon as well. A handful of 890FX-based motherboards should be hitting the scene too. All things considered, there is a lot to like with regard to AMD's Leo platform. No, it's not the fastest platform out there; that distinction still belongs to Intel's Core i7 / X58 combo, but at its price point the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is a very compelling option. Mate a Phenom II X6 1090T to a decent 890FX-based motherboard, a few gigabytes of RAM, and a Radeon HD 5800 series card, and you'll have the foundation of one heck of a powerful rig without breaking the bank. It may not be the "Intel killer" AMD fans may have been hoping for, but that doesn't matter. The Phenom II X6 is a strong product at a very competitive price, and that's good enough to earn it a Recommended Award in our book.


  • Excellent Performance
  • Good Overclocking Headroom
  • Good Power Consumption
  • Compatible with Current AM2+ and AM3 mobos
  • Competitive Pricing


  • Outperformed by Intel Quad-Cores
  • Lower IPC Per Core Than Intel


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