The most disappointing thing about the new Phenom II is the high TDP rating. While Intel's Quads now have the same TDPs, they do not use that much power. Also, there is virtually no difference between the 810 and the 940, and AMD's CPUs show a higher consumption increase after overclocking.
Our suggestion is to try to undervoltage the CPU as much as possible, as it will lower the power-consumption considerably.
We were interested in how the CPU will do with DDR3, but due to the fact that the boards are not yet available, we had to perform our tests with a DDR2 board. We suspect that the gain will only be marginal, and since DDR2 is still cheaper, it does not make much sense to switch to the new platform. Even AMD itself said to expect some three to five percent more from DDR3 based platforms, but we will test this soon enough.
The CPU runs as expected - a 400MHz clock difference and 2MB less 3rd level cache don't make a big impact. In fact, it seems like the cache size does not matter at all. AMD has slashed the prices of its 900 series, which now start at about €175,-
in Euroland, whereas the new CPU is nearly the same price, at about €170,-
. So, you get 2MB and 200MHz less compared to the cheapest 920 CPU, but the DDR3 memory controller comes at a premium.
If you want a future proof CPU, get yourself an Phenom II 810, as it will work well with your future DDR3 motherboard. On the other hand, if you simply want a CPU with more cache and better overall spec, then the Phenom II 920 at the same price might be a better option.
Overall, the Phenom II 810 is a good CPU with nice overclocking potential, but DDR3 memory support will cost you a premium. You can always use it with DDR2 and save some money, and get almost the same performance.