At CeBIT 2008
we had a chance to play a bit with the first Tri-Cores from AMD. While all the B2 steppings went to the biggest OEMs such as Acer, Dell and HP - today the "real" ones hit the streets.
The new tri-cores are exactly the same as any AMD quad, the B3 stepping removing a seven-year-old TLB bug known since K6-III, only one of the four cores is deactivated. While you might guess AMD could have deactivated a portion of the L3 cache, they did not - you get the full 2MB known from the quads.
The tri-cores will not come as "Black Edition," so the only option to overclock is to raise the "virtual FSB." Since Athlon 64 days, AMD does not use an FSB anymore. This virtual FSB is only a reference clock from which any frequencies will calculated. Setting this to 240MHz it raises the CPU-clock to 2.88GHz, we tried more, but the board did not like it.
To compare to a quad-core properly we used our Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition and reduced the multiplier to 12, to match with the X3 8750.
MSI K9A2 Platinum (provided by MSI
Intel Core-2 Duo E8400
Scythe Andy Samurai Master (provided by Scythe-Europe
Kingston 2GB Kit PC2-9600U KHX1200D2K2/2G (provided by Kingston
CL5-5-5-15 CR2T at 1.80V
Jetway Radeon HD3870 (provided by mec-electronics
Silverstone Element SF50EF-Plus (provided by Silverstone
SilenX iXtrema Pro 14dB(A) (provided by PC-Cooling.at
Cooler Master Stacker 831 Lite (provided by Cooler Master