AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition

When the original Phenom was launched, AMD’s processor performed reasonably well but wasn’t strong enough to pull people away from Intel’s Core line. We’re glad to say that things are now very different with the Phenom II lineup

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AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  July 6, 2009

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Key Specs

Cache memory: 512Kbytes L1, 2Mbytes L2, 6Mbytes L3
Clock speed: 3.2GHz
Number of cores: 4
Power consumption: 125-watt
Price: $300

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When the original Phenom was launched, AMD’s new, at the time, processor performed reasonably well but wasn’t quite strong enough to pull people away from Intel’s Core line of CPUs. Flash forward to 2009 and we’re glad to say that things are now very different with the Phenom II lineup.

Our test sample Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition is the range toper and features four 3.2GHz processing cores along with 512Kbytes, 2Mbytes and 6Mbytes of L1, L2 and L3 cache respectively. Being a Black Edition processor, this CPU also features an unlocked multiplier, which means you’ll have an easier time pushing it beyond its standard frequency.

In fact the 955 Black Edition proved a champ as it happily ran at 3.7GHz without requiring any extra voltage. Cranking the voltage up and modifying the CPU’s unlocked multiplier, we eventually landed on a final clock frequency of 3.9GHz. This is impressive considering we were using a rather basic CPU cooler. This solid performance shows, without a shadow of doubt, that AMD is now getting very good yields on its 45nm manufacturing process.

Dialing back down to standard 3.2GHz speed, the Phenom II X4 955 performed very well. Its one minute 24 second render time in our Cinebench 10 multi-CPU benchmark was very strong as was its MPEG to DivX and TMPGenc encode times of 30- and 46-seconds respectively. These results make it faster than the similarly priced Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 CPU though not quite as fast as the pricier Intel Core i7 920.

Verdict

The 955 Black Edition is worth serious consideration as it performs well, offers great value and overclocks like a champ.

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