Phenom II X4 910e processor does a lot to curb the Phenom II's family reputation
for being hot and power hungry. The quad-core 910e is actually a bit of a
lightweight, it's got some great power consumption figures that keep its total
system power draw well under that of AMD's other quad-core processors.
However whenever AMD accomplishes something great, Intel
is right around the corner to rain on the parade. Intel's Core i5 750 processor
still manages lower overall power consumption levels, despite having a 95W TDP
rating compared ot the Phenom II X4 910e's 65W.
Things just become more lopsided in performance
benchmarks. The Phenom II X4 910e has difficulty keeping up with both the 2.9GHz
Athlon II X4 635 processor and the Phenom II X2 555
Black Edition at times, and is consistently trounced by the Core
i5 750 in nearly every benchmark. The compromise for such low power
consumption is a lower clockspeed, and AMD's 'Deneb' architecture simply isn't
all that great at 2.6GHz.
At $179 CDN ($169 USD, £117 GBP) is fairly
expensive for an AMD processor, which tend to stay below the $150 mark. This
makes the Phenom II X4 910e a bit difficult to place in the grand hierarchy of
processors. If you need speed, there are faster AMD processors for less money.
If you need a high-power, low wattage processor the Intel Core i5 series is a
better bet in my mind. If you need a low-wattage quad-core the Athlon II X4
family remains quite competitive too.
The saving grace for the Phenom II X4 910e is that it is
a very easy upgrade. Like AMD's other Phenom II processors, this socket AM3 chip
can be dropped into a socket AM2+ motherboard (and certain AM2 motherboards)
without any fuss. Even if you happen to be running a fairly ancient power
supply, chances are the Phenom II X4 910e won't tip your wattage consumption
into danger zone territory. The Phenom II X4 910e will also be quite at home in
newer systems, including those based on AMD's upcoming 880G chipset.
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