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AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE & 840 Quad-Core Processors

Date: January 4, 2011
Products: Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition & Phenom II X4 840 CPUs
Company: Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Author: Jason Rabel

AMD Phenom II

Two New Mid-Level Processors:

Today AMD is releasing two new processors for the main-stream market. First up is a new top-end quad-core, the 3.6 GHz Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition. The X4 975 BE is simply a 100 MHz speed bump over the already familiar X4 970 BE with no other design changes. The second new processor is a budget quad-core, the 3.2 GHz Phenom II X4 840. Previously the 8xx series chips have had 4MB of L3 cache instead of the traditional 6MB, but this new X4 840 is a little different. AMD has chosen to make the X4 840 a model without any L3 cache, and compensate performance with a higher clock speed. From the information I received, the X4 840 is indeed a "Propus" core, making this processor an Athlon II at heart, just with a Phenom II name.

The Phenom II X4 840 raises a couple questions in the back of my mind. Does this mean that we will not see an Athlon II X4 650 (which would be the same clock speed)? On the one hand, the 8xx series processors seem to only hit the market for a short time before they disappear. On the other hand, everyone is expecting the next generation of processors from AMD to come out this quarter, so it could signal the end of new Phenom II / Athlon II models. Only time will tell.

AMD leads the way with forwards & backwards compatibility... All AM3 processors are designed to work in previous generation AM2+ motherboards, as well as current AM3 motherboards, and even future AM3+ boards! That is one great feature over Intel, which they seem to create a new socket for every new chip they release. AMD really caters to the budget conscience.

In the table below I have compiled the latest prices (as of 1/1/2011) from an online store to help give an idea of how these new processors fall into the price mix with their previous models. I'm sure things will shift around some to accommodate the new models.

Model Frequency Turbo Cores L2 Cache L3 Cache TDP Price
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T BE 3.3 GHz 3.7 GHz 6 3 MB 6 MB 125 W $275
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T BE 3.2 GHz 3.6 GHz 6 3 MB 6 MB 125 W $265
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3.0 GHz 3.5 GHz 6 3 MB 6MB 125 W $210
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8 GHz 3.3 GHz 6 3 MB 6 MB 125 W $200
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE 3.6 GHz - 4 2 MB 6 MB 125 W $195*
AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE 3.5 GHz - 4 2 MB 6 MB 125 W $186
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4 GHz - 4 2 MB 6 MB 125 W $160
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2 GHz - 4 2 MB 6 MB 125 W $145
AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz - 4 2 MB 6 MB 125 W $138
AMD Phenom II X4 840 3.2 GHz - 4 2 MB - 95 W $102*
AMD Athlon II X4 645 3.1 GHz - 4 2 MB - 95 W $119
AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0 GHz - 4 2 MB - 95 W $100

* AMD Retail Price Estimate

As with previous Athlon II / Phenom II releases, a BIOS update is always recommended to ensure complete compatibility and functionality with existing AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 motherboards.

AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE and X4 840


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