AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Review



Product: AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition
Company: AMD
Author: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: May 24th, 2011

Introduction

AMD launched their fastest ever Quad core CPU on May 3rd, 2011. Clocked at 3.7GHz, the Phenom II X4 980 is the current fastest default clock speed AMD has shipped, and as fast as the triple core Turbo mode of AMD's flagship hexa-core Phenom II X6 1100T. AMD has tweaked the Phenom II line's manufacturing to deliver minor but consistent speed bumps, all the while driving down prices.

AMD Phenom II X4

The new Phenom II X4 980 is priced at ~$185USD, and its debut drives down the pricing of other key processors. The Phenom II line-up is now closer than ever, with a couple of key products now overlapping in interesting ways. AMD's CPU strategy is on a different cadence from Intel, with AMD's K10 architecture from 2007 updated in 2009 to be the Phenom II lineup. AMD have countered Intel's tick-tock strategy using clockspeed and more cores at common price points.

Specifications

The Specifications of the Phenom II X4 980 are:

  • Socket AM2+/AM3 compatibility
  • 2GHz Full Duplex HyperTransport
  • DDR3 1333 / DDR 1066 memory support
  • 64-bit dual channel memory controller with ganged/unganged modes
  • 45nm SOI architecture codenamed Deneb
  • 125W TDP
  • Native 64-bit Quad Core processor design with Cool'n'Quiet
  • MMX, 3DNow!, SSE/SSE2/SSE3/SSE4a, AMD-V instruction extension support
  • 64KB Instruction + 64KB Data L1 cache
  • 512KB per core L2 cache
  • 6MB shared L3 cache
  • Unlocked CPU Multiplier and voltage control

Today's performance tests look at overclocking the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition, and compare performance with two heavy hitting CPUs, from AMD and Intel. We'll see how far the 980's performance stretches against the overclocked Core i7 900 series and the Phenom II X6.