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AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Review: Last of the Breed

Author: Josh Walrath
Subject: Processors
Manufacturer: AMD

Results: SiSoft 2011 and 3D Mark Vantage

SiSoft Sandra 2011

SiSoft essentially benchmarks theoretical performance of a processor, which is fairly representative of a CPU’s performance in a well optimized application.  The latest Intel processors do very well in traditional integer and MMX, while AMD seems to be pretty competitive in floating point and SIMD/FP scenarios.

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The i7 is just darn fast.  Memory speed and overall integer performance highlight the advantages over the Phenom II series.  Interestingly enough, both the X4 and X6 Phenom II processors are very competitive in floating point applications.

3D Mark Vantage

This is another highly optimized benchmark, so it often extracts as much performance out of any current architecture.  It gives a nice taste of potential gaming performance in DX9 and DX10 based games.

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In the GPU tests, the CPU still plays an important role.  We do see the X4 980 stay very close to the i7-860, but once we hit the CPU tests there stands a pretty large gulf between the i7 and the X4.

May 4, 2011 | 07:16 AM - Posted by undersea

Josh, you just have to get a new CLEAN case for these reviews moving forward :)

May 4, 2011 | 09:31 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

A clean case is a sign of a dirty mind.

May 5, 2011 | 04:23 PM - Posted by AParsh335i (not verified)

This has to be the worst product I have seen released recently. It was easily beaten overall for the testing done against the i7-860 and the i7-860 is A LOT slower than the new sandybridge i5s. When comparing price/performance AMD has terrible timing with this part - Microcenter is selling the i5-2500k for $180 and the i5-2400 for $150. This 980 could only overclock to 4.3ghz overall (8.6% increase) and people are easily overclocking i5-2500k to 5.0ghz (66% increase!).

May 5, 2011 | 04:39 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Yeah, this was a strange release from AMD. Just so hard to compete with those Sandy Bridge parts. Sweet deals from Microcenter though! The i5-2500K is a steal at $180. Makes you wonder what the internal thinking at AMD was. Perhaps they felt that with recent price changes they had to have something exist at their upper end so their ASPs didn't suffer as badly?

May 6, 2011 | 06:02 AM - Posted by tellis006

I am done with AMD cpu's till bulldozer, I had a couple of Phenom 2 build's and the were "alright" then I found the i7 and never looked back moved to sandy-bridge, still not looking back. I am dying to give AMD my money , I am begging to give them my money but, I want performance, I think if they were even equal at the dollar per performance I would go with AMD just because they are the underdogs and I really want to see them grow.I am hearing good things I hope the bulldozer processors are not Phenom 2's in disguise, if they are it could be the end of AMD, on a better note they make awesome GPU's that is their saving grace.

May 6, 2011 | 10:34 AM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Well, I think at least AMD will be at parity with Intel for the most part. Though if the top end Bulldozer only matches the i7 2500K in performance, then AMD will certainly not be making boatloads of money per chip. I also think AMD had originally planned to have Bulldozer out sooner, but it looks like a few delays have hit it. We are now looking at (hopefully) July availability.

The one bright spot for AMD is that they are shipping Llano based processors, and we will likely see a glut of them come July/August. Should be a popular "back to school" product. CPU performance will not be anything fantastic, but the integrated GPU should be class leading for a long, long time.

May 10, 2011 | 03:16 PM - Posted by ZoneAndroid (not verified)

I don't think you were clear with the warranty information for the Asrock. As far as I can tell any p67/h67 board you buy today until June 30th will automatically have a 2 year warranty.
http://www.zoneandroid.com

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