PCGH Review: AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition
With the Phenom X4 9850 AMD deploys a new model, which hits the market with 2.5 GHz clock speed but without TLB-Bug. We check the capabilities of this CPU.
Previous Phenoms had to face two problems: an annoying malfunction in the silicon structure, known as TLB-Bug, and low clock speed. AMD wants to solve both of them with the new Revision B3 Phenoms.
The TLB-Bug alias Erratum 298 is connected to a special kind of buffer, the so called Translation Lookaside Buffer, and may result in seldom calculation mistakes. This may be important for professional operation, but for all-day use it isn't. So gamers should deactivate the BIOS hotfixes supplied by motherboard manufacturers, since bypassing the bug costs up to 20 percent of the system performance. With the brand-new B3-Stepping all of this is history - the fault in the silicon structure was fixed. Of course the 9850 is made according to the B3-Stepping.
Performance: Phenom 9850
Is the increased clock speed able to boost the Phenom's performance? Our synthetic benchmarks place the Phenom X4 9850 BE right where we expected him to be: In between the models 9700 and 9900 (both never were released) with 2.4 GHz and respectively 2.6 GHz clock speed and "aktiv” TLB-Bug.
Another field of operation but the same result: In the games World in Conflict and Anno 1701, both of them relying on CPU power, also place to new high-end model as expected. This proves the 9850 BE to be the fastest Phenom for sale. But competition is not coming from within the company. Intel's, soon to be replaced, Kentsfield in the form of the Q6600 is still slightly faster, not to mention the current Yorkfield generation, which represented by the Q9300, is still unmatched.
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