First Glimpse of AMD's 45nm Phenom

Subject: Processors | July 11, 2008 - 12:15 PM |

A little while back in one of the latest podcasts we had talked about how we have not seen all that many working 45nm Phenom samples floating around.  In fact, at that point we really had not seen a one or have had any concrete information about these products (which is scary considering the product is supposed to be out by late Q3 this year).  Now we have seen one of the first samples benchmarked and overclocked, and the results are pretty impressive.

45nm Phenom 2.3 GHz - provided by was able to lay hands on 2.2 GHz and 2.3 GHz Phenom 45nm samples.  Their results, while pretty minimal in testing breadth, are impressive nonetheless.  They were able to take the samples up to a blistering 3.4 GHz clockspeed, and they reported on some SuperPi 1M results.  At 2.8 GHz the product was able to complete the test in 25.109 seconds, while at 3.4 GHz it took it down in 20.515 seconds.  While I don't use SuperPi, I am led to believe that these are not too shaby when it comes to results.

It is about time that AMD let slip a few CPU samples, and I am guessing these were sent to a motherboard manufacturer (probably one of the big ones since they didn't even try to blur out serial numbers) in Taiwan.  We now know several things about these products that we didn't before.

45nm Phenom 2.3 GHz - provided by

Performance seems improved from the current Phenom, and the addition of the extra L3 cache is likely a good thing.  We know that AMD's 45 nm design works, which is something we were not necessarily quite sure about up until this point.  We also know that there is some more headroom in terms of clockspeed, with the sample hitting 2.8 GHz at 1.224 volts and 3.4 GHz at 1.588 volts.  The information on the lid of the CPUs indicate that they were fabbed in the 16th and 21st weeks of this year.  The nominal voltage for the product is 1.224 volts at 2.2 and 2.3 GHz, but over time that will likely go down to the 1.15 to 1.1 volt area (improvements to manufacturing will allow that).

45nm Phenom @ 3.4 GHz - provided by

Overall this is quite good news for AMD, and hopefully they can further improve their 45nm process and products.  While I am not entirely optimistic about seeing decent amounts of product hitting the channel in late Q3, at least AMD has shown that it does have a working 45nm process and 45nm products.

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