EXTREME Overclocking  - AMD Phenom II X4 940 & 920 Processors Review - Page: 1
Home | Reviews | EOC Forums | File Downloads | RealTime Pricing Engine | Free Magazines | Folding Stats Contact Us

AMD Phenom II X4 940 & 920 Processors

Date: January 8, 2009
Product: Phenom II X4 940 BE (3.0 GHz) & 920 (2.8 GHz) AM2+ CPUs
Company: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Author: Jason Rabel

AMD Phenom II

What's New With The Phenom II:

It has been a little over a year since AMD released the original Phenom processor, publicized as the world's first "native" quad-core desktop processor. I won't lie to you (and you probably already know all this), the original Phenom had a rough start with the TLB bug, and performance just wasn't what everyone was hoping for. Intel was dominating the market with their shiny new 45nm chips, and AMD fans kind of felt let down. With the new Phenom II however, the performance we have come to expect from AMD is definitely back in a solid product. The biggest feature most people have been reading about has been the transition to 45nm manufacturing, but there are a lot more enhancements to the processor than just a die shrink. While the Phenom II is still technically a K10 chip, the performance is like night and day compared to the older 65nm Phenom.

To start things off with the Phenom II line, AMD has launched the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition, running at a whopping 3.0 GHz. Being a Black Edition processor means that the CPU multiplier is unlocked, making it much easier to overclock. Also being released is the Phenom II X4 920, which runs as 2.8 GHz. To put that in some perspective, the fastest 65nm Phenom currently available is the 9950 BE which runs at only 2.6 GHz. These Phenom II processors are compatible with existing socket AM2+ motherboards, the only requirement for proper operation is a BIOS update which motherboard manufactures should have out by now, or will in the near future. Future AM3 Phenom II processors will also be backwards compatible with AM2+ motherboards, but that will be covered later on in more detail.

The die size has shrunk a little, from 285mm˛ (65nm) to 258mm˛ (45nm), also the transistor count has gone up from ~450 million to ~758 million! The main reason for the transistor jump is the 4MB of additional L3 cache in the new design, which also takes up a considerable amount of die space.

On the outside, the chip itself looks like any other socket AM2/AM2+ processor.


I know the name Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition seems a little long, and numbers can really get jumbled when you start talking about the older Phenom processors and Intel models too. But the numbering really fits how AMD is trying to label their products... The II represents the new 45nm models, while the X4 represents the cores (future X3 & X2 are sure to follow), and finally the model 940 represents the relative performance in the lineup. We could call it The Final Endgame Alpha Action Go Time Lift-Off Decide-icidal.... err...let's not go there... Just keep in mind when reading this review, when you see "Phenom", that is referring to the original Agena 65nm models, when you see "Phenom II" that is the new Deneb 45nm models.


Pricing and Availability:

Prices are expected to be $275 for the X4 940 and $235 for the X4 920, AMD's Processor Pricing List should be updated at the time of launch or shortly thereafter. Because of the price gap between these new Phenom II processors and existing Phenom processors, prices are not expected to drop for existing models. That probably won't happen until the availability of the AM3 chips.

Model Frequency Process HT L2-Cache L3-Cache Price
Phenom II X4 940 3.0 GHz 45nm 1.8 GHz 4 x 512 KB 6 MB $275
Phenom II X4 920 2.8 GHz 45nm 1.8 GHz 4 x 512 KB 6 MB $235
Phenom X4 9950 2.6 GHz 65nm 2 GHz 4 x 512 KB 2 MB $170
Phenom X4 9850 2.5 GHz 65nm 2 GHz 4 x 512 KB 2 MB $150
Phenom X4 9750 2.4 GHz 65nm 1.8 GHz 4 x 512 KB 2 MB $150
Phenom X4 9650 2.3 GHz 65nm 1.8 GHz 4 x 512 KB 2 MB $145


Latest Reviews
Most Downloaded Files
Recently Added Files
CPU-Z 1.4912/12/08
Compare Prices On Top Brands!

Intel Processors
Core i7/i5 - Nehalem
975 Extreme  960  950  920
870  860  750  670  661  660

Core 2 Quad - Yorkfield
Q9650  Q9550  Q9400  Q9300  Q8300  Q8200

Core 2 Duo - Wolfdale
E8600  E8500  E8400  E8200  E7300  E7200

AMD Processors
Phenom II X4
965 Black  955 Black  945  925

Phenom II X2
555  550

Athlon II X4
630  620

Athlon II X3
435  425

Athlon II X2
250  245

Video Cards
nVidia GeForce GTX 200 Series
GTX 295  GTX 285  GTX 280  GTX 260

nVidia GeForce 9 Series
9800 GX2  9800 GTX+  9800 GTX  9800 GT  9600 GT  9600 GSO

ATI Radeon HD 4000 Series
4870 X2  4870  4850  4830  4670  4650

Search By Brand
ASUS  BFG  Diamond  eVGA  Gigabyte  HIS  MSI  Palit  PowerColor  PNY  Sapphire  Visiontek  XFX

PC Memory

ASUS  Biostar  DFI  ECS  eVGA  Foxconn  Gigabyte  Intel  MSI  Shuttle  Supermicro  Tyan  XFX

Hard Drives
Seagate  Maxtor  Samsung  Fujitsu  Western Digital

  Technology Magazines FREE to Qualified Professionals.
eWeek MagazineeWeek is the essential technology information source for builders of e-business. Focuses on e-commerce, communications and Internet-based architecture. Oracle MagazineOracle Magazine contains technology-strategy articles, sample code, tips, Oracle and partner news, how-to articles for developers and DBAs, and more. Dr. Dobb's JournalDr. Dobb's Journal enables programmers to write the most efficient and sophisticated programs and help in daily programming quandaries. InformationWeekInformationWeek is the only newsweekly you'll need to stay on top of the latest developments in information technology.
  Other Popular Titles: PC Magazine, BusinessWeek, Baseline, Business Solutions, Software Magazine, InfoStor, Security Source , TelevisionWeek, more...
Copyright © 2000-2014 EXTREME Overclocking. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer of Liability - Privacy Policy