Beyond X3, the Phenom X4 9850 Black EditionBy Frank Ohlhorst | Print
AMD rolls out multiple new processors that spell multiple opportunities for system builders.
If a system builder is looking for maximum performance from AMD, then the CPU of choice becomes the $235 Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition. The so called black edition offers four cores and ups the clock speed to 2.5Ghz, which brings additional performance. Interestingly, AMD aims the 9850 Black Edition at over-clockers and even provides utilities and tools to help push the CPU beyond its actual design specs.
While that may help to maximize performance, the simple fact remains that over-clocking may void the warranty and requires a more expensive CPU cooling solution, two very important considerations for a system builder.
We swapped the X4 into our test system and started the bench marking process, our PassMark overall score increased to 572.5 and the CPU String Sorting Score came in at 2945.9. At idle the system consumed 151 watts of power and the system peaked to 226 watts consumed while under load. As expected, the Windows Vista Performance Information tool showed an increase, the overall rating for the system increased to 5.7 and the Processor scored a 5.9.
So what does it all mean?
With general availability of the X3 and X4 Phenom CPUs, AMD is offering system builders an alternative to other, more expensive CPUs. Although, the Phenoms don’t approach the performance of Intel’s top of the line quad core CPUs, the Phenoms do come at an attractive price point, perhaps changing the industry measurements from performance per watt to performance per dollar.
The real success for system builders selling Phenom processors will come from combining low cost components to bring "enough" performance to the massed at a very palatable price.