Wednesday, 29 August 2012

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Quad-Core Processor Performance Unlocking core Secrets Review

The Fastest Quad-Core AMD Has Ever Released - 980 BE

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Performance Review
When Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) first introduced the Phenom II line of processors, we were still stuck in the days of the AM2+ socket. The processor that the Phenom II launched with was the AMD Phenom II X4 940 back in 2009. The Phenom II X4 940 is a quad core processor that cruised along at 3.0GHz and proved to be a very capable processor. Here we are though, a little more than two years later, looking at the latest variation of the original Phenom II X4 940, the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition. It's been over two years since the original AMD Phenom II X4 processor was released using the 'Deneb' core architecture and, believe it or not, the core architecture remains exactly the same. The clock frequency has increased from 3.0GHz to 3.7GHz over the past two years, though, and that is good news for those that don't overclock. If you overclock your processor then you are likely going to yawn right about now as we were able to hit 3.8GHz on the AMD Phenom II X4 940 processor way back in 2008 when we overclocked the first Phenom II X4 that we laid our hands on.
There are a couple of serious differences between the two processors. We will touch on those differences in a bit, though. Though I'm betting you're familiar with them already, or at least some of them.

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition CPUz

In the last 2+ years AMD has increased the speed of the Phenom II X4 processors 700MHz which is nearly 25%!.




Specifications:

  • Model Number & Core Frequency: X4 980 / 3.7GHz
  • OPN: HDZ980FBK4DGM
  • L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512KB total L1 per processor)
  • L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor)
  • L3 Cache Size: 6MB (shared)
  • Total Cache (L2+L3): 8MB
  • Memory Controller Type: Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller
  • Memory Controller Speed: Up to 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
  • Types of Memory Supported: Unregistered DIMMs up to PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066MHz) -AND- PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333MHz)
  • HyperTransport 3.0 Specification: One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4.0GHz full duplex (2.0GHz x2)
  • Total Processor-to-System Bandwidth w/ DDR3-1333: Up to 37.3GB/s total bandwidth [Up to 21.3 GB/s memory bandwidth (DDR3-1333) + 16.0GB/s (HT3)]
  • Total Processor-to-System Bandwidth w/ DDR2-1066: Up to 33.1GB/s total bandwidth [Up to 17.1 GB/s memory bandwidth (DDR2-1066) + 16.0GB/s (HT3)]
  • Packaging: Socket AM3 938-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA)
  • Fab location: GLOBALFOUNDARIES Fab 1 module 1 in Dresden, Germany (formerly AMD Fab 36)
  • Process Technology: 45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology
  • Approximate Die Size: 258mm2
  • Approximate Transistor count: ~758 million
  • Max TDP: 125 Watts
  • AMD Codename: "Deneb"
 
AMD Phenom II X4 980 BE Retail Box
AMD Phenom II X4 Quad-Core Processor Pricing:


CPU Name Cores Clock L2/L3 Cache HT Bus Socket TDP Price
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T 6 3.3GHz 3+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $205
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T 6 3.2GHz 3+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $185
AMD Phenom II X4 980 BE 4 3.7GHz 2+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $185
AMD Phenom II X6 1065T 6 2.9GHz 3+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $185
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 6 3.0GHz 3+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $181
AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE 4 3.6GHz 2+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $175
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 6 2.8GHz 3+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $165
AMD Phenom II X4 970 BE 4 3.5GHz 2+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $155
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 4 3.4GHz 2+6MB 4000MHz AM3 140W $135
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 4 3.2GHz 2+6MB 4000MHz AM3 125W $117
AMD Phenom II X4 840 4 3.2GHz 2+6MB 4000MHz AM3 95W $105
AMD Phenom II X2 565 BE 2 3.4GHz 1+6MB 4000MHz AM3 80W $102
AMD Phenom II X2 560 BE 2 3.3GHz 1+6MB 4000MHz AM3 80W $90
AMD Phenom II X2 555 BE 2 3.2GHz 1+6MB 4000MHz AM3 80W $90

The AMD Phenom II product stack is starting to look really good with prices starting out at $90 for the dual-core offerings and rising up to $205 for the six-core monsters at the top of the lineup. AMD clearly has budget friendly processors that have great features and clock frequencies. Let's take a look at how the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition processor does against some other processors. 

Test System

 
AMD 890FX Test Rig
 Processor  AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
 AMD Phenom II X4 980

 Motherboard  MSI 890FXA-GD70
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70
 Chassis  None - Open Bench
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750 

Intel X58 Test Rig
 Processor  Intel Core i7 950
 Motherboard  ASUS Sabertooth X58
 Memory  6gb Corsair Dominator CMP6GX3M3A1600C8
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70
 Chassis  None - Open Bench
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750 

Intel P67 Test Rig
 Processor  Intel Core i5 2500K
 Motherboard  ASUS P8P67 Deluxe
 Memory  8gb Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
 Hard Drive  Kingston SSDNow 96GB SSD
 Video Card  XFX Radeon HD 6950
 CPU cooler  Corsair A70
 Chassis  None - Open Bench
 Power Supply  Corsair TX750 
Intel DX58S02 X58 Motherboard Test Bench 


AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Test Settings

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Synthetic Benchmark

3DMark 11 Screenshot

3DMark 11 is the latest version of the world’s most popular benchmark for measuring the 3D graphics performance of gaming PCs. 3DMark 11 uses a native DirectX 11 engine designed to make extensive use of all the new features in DirectX 11, including tessellation, compute shaders and multi-threading.

3DMark 11 Settings

Since Futuremark is releasing 3DMark11 today we decided to run the benchmark at both performance and extreme presets to see how our hardware will run.

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Performance Preset

3DMark 11 Benchmark Results

Futuremark 3DMark 11 Extreme Preset

3DMark 11 Benchmark Results

Benchmark results: The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition processor didn't do as well as hoped in 3DMark 11. During the performance preset testing the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition had an overall score of 3781 3DMarks. The next closest competitor was the AMD Phenom II X6 1100T with an overall score of 4359 3DMarks. The Extreme preset was a similar story; the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition scored 1298 3DMarks while the AMD Phenom II X6 1100T was closest with an overall score of 1463 3DMarks.

Homefront

Homefront

The year is 2027. Her infrastructure shattered and military in disarray, America has fallen to a savage occupation by the nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic. Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles. Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force In Homefront’s gripping, cinematic single player campaign, and experience epic, ground breaking multiplayer action all set in a terrifyingly plausible near-future world.

Homefront Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The AMD Phenom II 980 Black Edition did a fine job keeping up with all of the processors today. The Intel Core i5 2500K was the front runner with an average of 83.96 frames per second at 1280x1024 and 67.68 frames per second at 1920x1080. The AMD Phenom II 980 Black Edition averaged 66.261 frames per second at 1920x180 which is only 1.419 fps behind the 2500K.

wPrime

wPrime

wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton's method for estimating functions, with f(x)=x2-k, where k is the number we're sqrting, until Sgn(f(x)/f'(x)) does not equal that of the previous iteration, starting with an estimation of k/2. It then uses an iterative calling of the estimation method a set amount of times to increase the accuracy of the results. It then confirms that n(k)2=k to ensure the calculation was correct. It repeats this for all numbers from 1 to the requested maximum.

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition wPrime Benchmark Results

Benchmark Results: The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition was 25.473 seconds behind the Intel Core i5 2500K during the 1024 Million benchmark and .892 seconds behind in the 32 Million test.

Overclocking the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition

Overclocking greatly varies due to what hardware is being used and who is doing the overclocking. Always remember that no two pieces of hardware will perform the same, so our results will differ from what you might be able to get.

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition CPUz

The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition uses a 200MHz front side bus and an x18.5 multiplier for a final clock speed of 3.7GHz. 3.7 GHz is 100MHz less than what we were able to overclock our original Phenom II X4 940 to back in January '09. Since the AMD Phenom II X4 980 is a Black Edition processor we will be able to take advantage of the unlocked multiplier to overclock the chip.

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Overclocked CPUz

To start out the overclocking process with the AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition we simply increased the multiplier by .5 at a time. It wasn't until we hit x21.5 on the multiplier did we have to start increasing the voltage be delivered to the chip. At a multiplier of x21 though, we were able to get through all the tests in wPrime for stability!

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Overclocked CPUz

With a bit of voltage and a little bit of water cooling to keep the chip cool, we were able to hit an overclock of 4545MHz! The MSI 890FXA-GD70 motherboard was cranking out 1.6 Volts to the processor with a Multiplier of x22.5 and a front side bus of 202MHz. With a little bit more tweaking we could likely squeeze out a few more MHz, but beyond that we would need better cooling.

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Overclocking Results

The AMD Phenom II X4 980 BE saw an improvement of 59.4 seconds in wPrime when it was overclocked to 4545MHz. Overall that's a 17.3% decrease in the time taken to complete the benchmark! That's not far off from the 22.8% overclock on the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition.

 

UNLOCKING CORE - SECRETS:

AMD Phenom II X4 980 is a Black-Edition Quad-core Processor. There are no chances to unlock cores b/c there is no disabled core.

Conclusion

AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Performance Review 

The AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Processor features the highest clock speed of any that AMD has released, but it's on core architecture that is over two years old and it shows in the benchmarks. It gets the job done, but is clearly pushing the limits of what AMD can expect from Deneb. 

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Amd phenom ii X4 980 vs Intel core i7 990X vs intel i7 950 vs intel i5 2500k vs Amd phenom ii x6 1100T, overclocking, benchmarks, performance, comparison, review, stability, score fps, gaming performance, fastest Quad-core x4.

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