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AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition 3.6 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review

AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition 3.6 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: AMD's Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition is a quad-core, 3.6GHz socket AM3 chip with 6MB of L3 cache and 512KB of L2 cache per core. It's being released in tandem with the AMD Phenom II X4 840 CPU. Both processors are ideally suited to socket AM3 motherboards built around the recent AMD 890FX or 890GX chipsets.
 88% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD Jan 08 2011   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition

The "AMD or Intel?" debate has been renewed yet again with the introduction of AMD's latest Phenom II X4 series processor, the 975 Black Edition.

AMD's Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition is a quad-core, 3.6GHz socket AM3 chip with 6MB of L3 cache and 512KB of L2 cache per core. It's being released in tandem with the AMD Phenom II X4 840 CPU. Both processors are ideally suited to socket AM3 motherboards built around the recent AMD 890FX or 890GX chipsets. The Phenom II X4 975 BE is backwards compatible with socket AM2+ motherboards and forwards compatible with the as yet unreleased socket AM3+ platform which is anticipated for release in mid-2011. The upcoming Socket AM3+ platform is for AMDs upcoming 'bulldozer' architecture that will see AMD processors with up to eight cores and a rumored new iteration of TurboCore dynamic frequency adjustment.

The Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition constitutes the current flagship quad-core offering from AMD and a 200MHz notch up in clock speed and benchmark performance from the previous Phenom II X4 970 BE chip. It is based on the AMD 'Deneb' architecture and rather than a 140W TDP we're pleasantly surprised to see AMD launch with a more efficient stepping at 125W TDP.

In most respects the AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition architecture is the same as previous "Deneb" based CPUs. The Phenom II's multi-core design continues to promote a larger L3 cache that feeds faster L2 caches for the individual cores, a balance that continues to improve multi-threading performance, is compatible with 32-bit/64-bit operating systems, etc. With a suggested retail price of $195 CDN ($195 USD, £117 GBP), the 3.6GHz Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition is priced just below Intel's Core i5 760, the entry level model for Intel's socket 1156 lineup.

Like all of AMD's Black Edition processors, overclockers will appreciate that the Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition is multiplier unlocked. Unlocked chips make overclocking a rather fun prospect because they enable us to change the CPU multiplier (default: 18.0x) to rapidly boost the clock speed from to 4GHz and possibly even further. PCSTATS will try its hand at pushing the PII X4 975 BE processor past 4.5GHz shortly...

AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition Processor
Tech Specs

Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition
Cores: 4 core/thread
Clock: 3.6 GHz
L1: (4x) 128KB
L2: (4x) 512KB
L3: 6MB
Multiplier: 18x
Package: 938-pin
Socket: AM3 (AM2+)
organic mPGA
Core: 45nm SOI
Transistor: 758M
Power: 125W
Codename: 'Deneb'
Cost: $195 USD

Phenom II X4 975 BE Specifications:

Manufactured in Dresden Germany by Global Foundries FAB1, the quad-core Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition processor is built on the 45nm DSL silicon-on-insulator process. Its monolithic CPU die measures 258mm2 in size and contains roughly 758 million transistors. This socket AM3 processor has a moderate thermal design power (TDP) of 125 Watts so any recent AMD heatsink will be sufficient to cool it. If a quiet and compact thermal solution is what's needed, this Zalman heatsink is a good low noise candidate that's not too bulky. PCSTATS partner site, Frostytech, has a list of five or so top heatsinks suited to cooling AMD processors if you're looking for a few heatsink recommendations.

As with recent Phenom II X4 CPUs, the 975 BE supports Hypertransport 3.0 with a 16-bit link running at 2.0GHz up and 2.0GHz downstream. Total system bandwidth peaks at 37.3GB/s for DDR3 platforms and 33.1GB/s for legacy DDR2 systems. The Phenom II X4's on-board 128-bit wide memory controller supports DDR2 RAM at speeds of up to 1066MHz and DDR3 RAM at speeds of up to 1333MHz. DDR2 memory compatibility is expected to exit from future AMD processors in late 2011, but for the time being it brings a nice level of backwards compatibility into the fold for users upgrading older PC systems.

Legacy socket AM2+ upgrades aside, the AMD Phenom II X4 975BE is best suited to socket AM3 motherboards based on the AMD 890FX or AMD 890GX chipsets that provide the full 37.3GB/s of processor-to-system bandwidth. The AMD 890FX chipset is suitable for multi-graphics card gaming systems, the AMD 890GX features integrated graphics and a comprehensive assortment of video out ports like HDMI for home theatre PC applications.

Core-by-Core CPU Power Draw

CPU power draw (expressed in Watts) can be easily measured by way of total system power if you have a simple electrical power meter. To determine how much juice the CPU is consuming, we only need to compare power draw with the processor resting at idle, and with each core at 100% CPU utilization. Stress Prime SP2004 is used to stress each core of the processor individually. Total system power draw is measured with an Extech Power Analyzer Datalogger (model 380803).

Total System Idle Power Draw
Processor Power Draw
Intel Pentium 4 540 150 Watts
Intel Pentium D 840 165 Watts
Intel Pentium D 940 168 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 117 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 123 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 131 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 114 Watts
Intel Core i5 750 124 Watts
Intel Core i7 920 144 Watts
AMD Sempron 3600+ 120 Watts
AMD Athlon64 4000+ 163 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-60 127 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ 143 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ 156 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-62 168 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 240e 122 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 250 128 Watts
AMD Athlon II X3 435 128 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 620 130 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 635 127 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 645 120 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE 145 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE 143 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE 155 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 840 114 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e 131 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 148 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 150 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE 134 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE 140 Watts
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 129 Watts
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 130 Watts
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T 138 Watts

The Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition system idles at 140 Watts, a bit higher than the previous X4 970BE model at 134Watts. We'll see where the power draw figures stand once each of the four CPU cores come under stress.

Total System Stressed Power Draw - All Cores/Threads
Processor Power Draw
Intel Pentium 4 540 223 Watts
Intel Pentium D 840 (2 Core) 240 Watts
Intel Pentium D 940 (2 Core) 253 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 (2 Core) 156 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (2 Core) 163 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 (2 Core) 158 Watts
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 (2) 149W
Intel Core i5 750 (4 Core) 169 Watts
Intel Core i7 920 (8 Thread) 213 Watts
AMD Sempron 3600+ 148 Watts
AMD Athlon64 4000+ 172 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-60 (2 Core) 196 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+ (2 Core) 173 Watts
AMD Athlon64 X2 5000+ (2 Core) 207 Watts
AMD Athlon64 FX-62 (2 Core) 235 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 240e (2 Core) 153 Watts
AMD Athlon II X2 250 (2 Core) 163 Watts
AMD Athlon II X3 435 (3 Core) 183 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 620 (4 Core) 195 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 635 (4 Core) 211 Watts
AMD Athlon II X4 645 (4 Core) 193 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE (2 Core) 181 Watts
AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE (2 Core) 187 Watts
AMD Phenom II X3 720 (3 Core) 213 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 840 (4 Core) 190 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 910e (4 Core) 176 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 955 (4 Core) 236 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 965 (4 Core) 243 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE ( 4 Core) 214 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE (1 Core) 168 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE (2 Core) 187 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE (3 Core) 208 Watts
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE (4 Core) 225 Watts
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T (6 Core) 228 Watts
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (6 Core) 263W
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T (6 Core) 243W

The AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition computer system draws 225Watts of power with all four of the CPU cores 100% stressed. This figure is 11W higher than the previous X4-970 BE based PC under similar load conditions. Compared to the slightly faster Core i5 750 system (169W), the Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition PC system is more demanding on the power front - a continuing challenge all AMD processors face. Under single core load power draw is a moderate 168W.

Next up, PCSTATS tries its hand at overclocking the AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition processor past 4.5GHz, then it's onto the benchmark portion of this processor review.

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition
 Pg 1.  — AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition 3.6 GHz Socket AM3 Processor Review
 Pg 2.  AMD Phenom II X4 975BE Overclocking Report
 Pg 3.  CPU System Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 4.  CPU System Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 5.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra Processor
 Pg 6.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra Memory
 Pg 7.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi
 Pg 8.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: wPrime2.0
 Pg 9.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: ScienceMark2.3, Cinebench R10
 Pg 10.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: Bibble 5
 Pg 11.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray 3.7
 Pg 12.  CPU Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 13.  CPU Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis, FEAR / Conclusion

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