Product: AMD Phenom II 840 & 975BE CPUs, Noctua NH-D14 HSF
Company: AMD
Authour: James Prior
Editor: Charles Oliver
Date: January 26th, 2011
AMD Spring 2011 Phenom II Lineup, plus Noctua NH-D14 Review

AMD
AMD
At the beginning of the year, AMD launched a few new desktop processors, including a new quad core Phenom II Black Edition and a brand new kind of Phenom II - with no L3 cache. One of the biggest differentiators between the Athlon II and Phenom II lines has been the L3 cache - Phenom IIs have it, Athlon IIs don't. AMD's new Phenom II X4 840 processor features the Propus core from the Athlon II line up, and it is specified with a 95W TDP versus the 125W TDP of the Phenom II X4 975 BE. The last time we saw this processor, it was called the Althon II X4 645 and clocked at 3.1GHz.


AMD Phenom II Processors
AMD Phenom II Processors

These new processors are not the direct answer for Intel's concurrently released Sandy Bridge based processors, but are new speed bins made possible by ongoing development and process maturity of the AMD STARS codename cores Deneb and Propus. Interestingly, despite a launch date of January 4th, no official pricing information or availability in online stores yet exist, so we'll use AMD's estimated retail pricing.

AMD Phenom II Processor-In-A-Box
AMD Phenom II Processor-In-A-Box

AMD also released a new 95W Phenom II X6 1065T, a hexacore processor with Turbo CORE technology based upon the Thuban design. We don't have this processor for review today, but at 2.9GHz and six cores, three core turbo mode to 3.4Ghz and a price of $199 the 1065T is in direct competition with the 975 Black Edition. Like all AMD's AM3 processors to date, the new Phenom II processors support both DDR2 and DDR3 for compatibility with Socket AM2+ as well as AM3 mainboards - subject to BIOS compatibility. We have previously seen Phenom II 800 series processors as featuring 4MB L2 cache, ranging from 2.5 to 2.8GHz. These also featured unlockable L3, expanding from 4MB to a full 6MB on some mainboards with the 'right' version of ACC implemented. These processors disappeared a while ago, when the Athlon II X4's replaced them.

Noctua NH-D14 Heatsink & Fan
Noctua NH-D14 Heatsink & Fan

Along with the new AMD Phenom II processors we also have a new CPU cooler to evaluate - Noctua's NH-D14: a monstrous split tower, six heatpipe dual fan cooler. This heatsink and fan combination is compatible with a wide range of Intel and AMD platforms, including Intel's socket 1156 for Sandy Bridge CPUs.  



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