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AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2GHz Socket AM3 6-Core Processor Review

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2GHz Socket AM3 6-Core Processor Review - PCSTATS
Price Check: $/£/€
Abstract: The first ever six-core socket AM3 processor from AMD has arrived to directly compete against Intel's robust Core i7 9-series 'Nehalem' chips. Code named 'Thuban', the new 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor introduces with it a dynamic overclocking technology called TurboCore.
 95% Rating:   
Filed under: CPU / Processors Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: AMD May 01 2010   Julian Apong  
Home > Reviews > CPU / Processors > AMD Phenom II X6 1090T

The first ever six-core socket AM3 processor from AMD has arrived, and with it AMD can now directly compete against Intel's robust Core i7 9-series 'Nehalem' chips. Code named 'Thuban', the new 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor introduces with it a dynamic overclocking technology called TurboCore. In typical computing situations AMD TurboCore will increase the speed of up to three of the Phenom II X6's CPU cores from 3.2GHz to 3.6GHz, while simultaneously increasing processor voltage and dropping the speed of the remaining three unloaded cores. The technology acts much like Intel TurboBoost and in benchmarks such as PCMark Vantage AMD TurboCore does result in a noticeable performance boost.

In most respects though, the six-core AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 'Thuban' processor builds upon the established Phenom II X2/X4 'Deneb' architecture AMD has put to work for some time now. Looking under the hood most AMD users will see familiar specs such as 6MB of shared L3 cache and 512KB of L2 cache for each of its six cores. The Phenom II's multi-core design promotes a larger L3 cache that feeds faster L2 caches for the individual cores, a balance that improves multi-threading performance overall.

Manufactured by Global Foundries FAB 1 in Dresden Germany, the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is fabricated on the 45nm SOI process, likely making it the last flagship chip to roll off the assembly line before AMD transitions to 32nm. Its die, estimated to be 346mm2 in size, contains ~904 million transistors. The CPU is rated for a moderate Thermal Design Power of 125W that assures existing AMD heatsinks can be used without concern.

AMD continues to engineer its Phenom II processor family with socket AM2+ backwards compatibility in mind, and true to form the Phenom II X6 1090T may be used on either socket AM2+ or AM3 motherboards. The CPU supports DDR2-1066 and DDR3-1333 memory thanks to its dual memory controllers, but is best at home on socket AM3 motherboards built around the AMD 890FX or 890GX chipsets. The CPUs HyperTransport 3.0 link continues to operate at 4.0 GT/s and its on-board 128-bit wide memory controller runs at 2GHz.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Processor
Tech Specs

Phenom II X6 1090T
CPU Cores: 6
Clock Speed: 3.2GHz
TurboCore: 3.6GHz
L1: 6x 128KB
L2: 6x 512KB
L3: 6MB
Multiplier: 16x-18x
Package: 938-pin
Socket: AM3 (AM2+)Core: 45nm SOI
Transistor: ~904M
Die size: 346mm2
Power: 125W
Vcore: 1.125-1.40V
Code: 'Thuban'
Cost: $285 USD

The 3.2GHz AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor is priced at around $280 USD ($280 CDN, £165 GBP). In this review PCSTATS will put the Phenom II X6 1090T CPU through a full set of processor benchmarks, with TurboCore enabled and disabled, and compare it against Intel's Core i5 / Core i7 processors, not to mention the previous multi-core processors from AMD's own stables. PCSTATS will also run power consumption tests to show you how TurboCore can significantly increase PC power draw... First though, lets take a look at what else AMD is doing to sweeten the deal for Phenom II owners...

Introducing 'Thuban' - AMD's first six-core Phenom II Processor

AMD's latest six-core architecture is code named 'Thuban'. The AMD Phenom II X6 1090T is an evolution of the same "Deneb" architecture that AMD has put to work in its Phenom II dual-core and quad-core processors, but scaled up to six full cores/six threads.

AMD Phenom II-series processors

Processor Models

Thermal Design Power

Clock Speed/Turbo Architecture/Size/
Cores
Cache

Price (USD)

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 125W 3.2/3.6GHz Thuban, 45nm=258mm2
6-core
9MB(3MB L2+ 6MB L3) $280
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 125W 2.8/3.3GHz Thuban, 45nm=258mm2
6-core
9MB(3MB L2+ 6MB L3) $199
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 125W 125W 3.4GHz Deneb, 45nm=258mm2
4-core
8MB (2MB L2 +6MB L3) $195
AMD Phenom II X4 910e 65W 2.6GHz Deneb, 45nm=258mm2
4-core
8MB (2MB L2 +6MB L3) $169

AMD Phenom II X2 555

80W

3.2 GHz

Calllisto,
45nm=258mm2
2-Core

7MB (1MB L2 +6MB L3)

$99

Like the rest of the Phenom II series, chips based on the 'Thuban' architecture will have three levels of cache. Each individual core will have its own 128KB of L1 cache. This is the fastest possible cache and is split into two 64KB chunks for data and instruction sets.

Each core also gets its own 512KB of L2 cache, which in turn is fed by a larger 6MB L3 cache which is shared between the six cores. The multi-core design of the Phenom II takes advantage of a larger L3 cache that feeds faster L2 caches for the individual cores, which increases both single core and multi-threaded performance.

Processors based on the 'Thuban' architecture, like AMD's Phenom II X6 1090T, use HyperTransport 3.0 to communicate information from the processor to the system. HyperTransport 3.0 is a 16-bit link that operates at 4.0GHz. The AMD Phenom II X6 1090T also features a dual memory controller that will operate in DDR2 mode in socket AM2+ motherboards, and in DDR3 mode when the processors is dropped into a socket AM3 motherboard. The integrated memory controller is 128-bits wide and operates at 2.0GHz, and supports DDR2 modules with speeds of up to DDR 1066MHz and DDR3 with speeds of up to 1333MHz.

While AMD won't release information on the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T specific transistor count, the processor itself is still listed as being produced on a 45nm processor with the same 346mm2 die size and 125W TDP as AMD's previous flagship, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 125W. It's unclear what kind of voodoo sorcery AMD and GlobalFoundries had to conjure to make a six-core chip fit into the same die size and thermal envelope as its quad-core processors, but AMD does state that you'll be able to upgrade to a six-core 'Thuban' processor like the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T without the need for special cooling solutions or power supplies, a stock socket AM3 heatsink-fan combo will be fine.

TurboCore - AMD gets dynamic frequency adjustment

The introduction of the AMD Phenom II X6 1090T processor also introduces TurboCore. Like Intel's Turbo Boost technology introduced in the Core i7 'Bloomfield' and Core i7/i5 'Lynnfield' processors, AMD's TurboCore technology will increase the speed of individual processor cores automatically based on CPU load and TDP levels.

By default TurboCore will increase the speed of up to three CPU cores. One, two or three computational loads is enough to trigger TurboCore, which will ramp up the loaded cores' speeds up to 3.6GHz, while simultaneously increasing processor voltage, and dropping the speed of the other three unloaded cores.

It's easiest to think of TurboCore like this....

© 2014 PCSTATS.com Next Page >

 

Contents of Article: AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
 Pg 1.  — AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 3.2GHz Socket AM3 6-Core Processor Review
 Pg 2.  TurboCore - AMD gets dynamic frequency adjustment
 Pg 3.  TurboCore Impact on System Power Draw
 Pg 4.  Six-Core Overclocking - Breaking New Records
 Pg 5.  CPU System Benchmarks: Sysmark 2007
 Pg 6.  CPU System Benchmarks: PCMark Vantage
 Pg 7.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra Processor
 Pg 8.  CPU Synthetic Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra Memory
 Pg 9.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: Super Pi
 Pg 10.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: wPrime2.0
 Pg 11.  CPU Calculation Benchmarks: ScienceMark2.3, WinRAR
 Pg 12.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: Cinebench R10, Bibble 5
 Pg 13.  CPU Rendering Benchmarks: POV-Ray 3.7, SPECviewPerf 10
 Pg 14.  CPU Synthetic Gaming Benchmarks: 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark 06
 Pg 15.  CPU Gaming Benchmarks: Crysis
 Pg 16.  CPU Gaming Benchmarks: FEAR
 Pg 17.  TurboCore for single-threads, Six cores for multi-threads

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