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AMD Phenom II closing the gap

by on08 January 2009


The most disappointing thing about the new Phenom II is the 125W TDP rating, which is only marginally lower compared to the 140W of the Phenom 9950. AMD did a fine job with regards to the idle power consumption, but need to work a lot to lower the power consumption under load. Since you can overclock your Phenom II, it might be interesting to know how much it'll cost you doing do so. The "PhII 940 GB" shows the processor on the Gigabyte board, MSI has the superior VRM and uses less power. The Q9450 was tested on a Gigabyte EP45-UD3P, while the E7200 run on the MSI P35 which is quite old and not very efficient.


While the Phenom 9850 has the same TDP as the new Phenom II 940, you see it does save about 40W under load and another 25W more when you reduce the VCore to 1.2000V. So if you are not into overclocking try to reduce the VCore to save some cash on your power bill.


In the little time AMD had, it did the best it could. While it seems some engineers took at least a year off and with a few bumps in the road that slowed AMD down considerably, the chipmaker is finally on the right track. The new CPU is clocked faster as well as performing faster in comparison to its older brother, and it's closing the gap against Intel CPUs.

The price for this new CPU is around €250,- while the 200MHz slower Phenom II 920 is around €30,- cheaper. In our opinion Intel still has the better offer with it's Q9-series, especially in terms of power consumption, but apart from that AMD has closed the gap significantly and is competitive again. With further price reductions we reckon a comeback for AMD is around the corner, especially considering the low motherboard and memory prices.

We liked the fact that it overclocks well and that the total platform cost is much better than Intel's Core i7 platform. The Phenom II works in existing boards and DDR2 is very cheap memory, so the price of an upgrade is around $300 in the US or €250 in Europe. This CPU goes directly after the 45nm Penryn based Core 2 Quad's and it is doing a good job.

Overall its a good CPU and this definitely gets AMD back in the game.

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Last modified on 08 January 2009
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