Phenom II X4 955 BE: New AMD CPU tested for AM3 launch
The new Phenom II X4 955 BE is the fastest AMD CPU for gamers up to now. PC Games Hardware reviewed the new processor.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh
Today not only the Phenom II X4 955 BE is officially launched, but also the appropriate AM3 platform. In combination with the already available Radeon HD 4890 this represents the "Dragon Refresh” - and that's just what it is: Like the Radeon HD 4890 primarily is a Radeon HD 4870 with higher clock speeds, the Phenom II X4 955 BE has access to more Megahertz than previous Phenom II versions.
The "Dragon Refresh” is topped off with the AM3 platform, which in contrast to AM2+, supports DDR3 memory. Although AM3 processors have been available for some time already, AMD didn't advertise the new socket and always recommended to test on AM2+ boards. But as our Phenom II X4 with AM3 review reveals, there isn't a big performance benefit received from DDR3 - thus we test the X4 955 BE with the cheaper DDR2 RAM.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: Technical Data
Like all Phenom II models the Phenom II X4 955 BE is based on the 45 nanometer Deneb core. It has 512 KiByte L2 cache per core and up to 6 MiByte L3 cache. Since AMD uses an exclusive cache design some access operations are slower than on Intel's Core i7 but the usable capacity is bigger. Compared to the Phenom II X4 940 BE the core clock speed is increased by 200 MHz to 3.2 GHz via an increased multiplier. As usual the multiplier of the Black Edition is not fixed - good for overclockers.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: Overclocking and cooling
The new Phenom reveals quite good overclocking capabilities. With the default voltage of 1.35 volt we were able to reach a stable clock speed of 3.7 GHz and by increasing the voltage to 1.45 volt additional 100 MHz were possible. But even at 1.35 volt and 3.2 GHz the Phenom II X4 955 BE proved to be a hot piece of technology and with an older cooler the frequency was throttled because the core temperature exceeded 70 degrees Celsius. So a good CPU cooler is necessary.
Overclocking is made easier with the new version 3.0 of AMD's Overdrive tool, which said supports DDR3 RAM and offers additional features. But currently the new version has not been released yet.
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: Conclusion
The Phenom II X4 955 BE performs, like the AM3 platform and the Radeon HD 4890, as expected: AMD's fastest processor is competing with Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9650 in applications and synthetic benchmarks and, depending on the individual game, its performance level varies between the Q9550 and the QX9770. Thus the Core 2 and the Phenom II are fully head to head, but the Core i7 is still unreachable in applications. Given the price of about 240 Euros the Phenom II X4 955 BE offers a very good price/performance ratio and the overclocking capabilities are quite good, too.
On the following pages you can find benchmark results for 7-Zip, Cinebench R10, Fallout 3 and Far Cry 2.
- 1AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: AM3-Launch plus neue CPU
- 2AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: 7-Zip
- 3AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: Cinebench R10 (64 Bit)
- 4AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: Fallout 3
- 5AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE plus Dragon Refresh: Far Cry 2 (D3D10)
- 6Bildergalerie zu "Phenom II X4 955 BE: New AMD CPU tested for AM3 launch"
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