AMD shipping B2 triple and B3 quad-core Phenoms
AMD will begin shipping production B3 Phenoms later this quarter, presumably at higher clock speeds than the 2.2GHz – 2.3GHz launch parts. Our B3 sample was very similar to our B2 chip in that we could get it stable at 2.6GHz but didn’t have much luck getting it to run comfortably any faster. We suspect that it’ll take a move to 45nm before AMD can really start to push the clock speed on Phenom.
To get an idea of how much of a performance hit the software/BIOS TLB fix incurs we took a small selection of our normal CPU tests and ran with the patch enabled/disabled on a B2 stepping Phenom 9600 (2.3GHz):
The results in WinRAR show that the B3 chip scored 1357 KB/s, the B2 chip with the workaround enabled scored 1348 KB/s, while the infected chip scored 367 KB/s – that’s a 72% performance drop, which is by far the worst case scenario. As mentioned many times before, it’s extremely unlikely the B2 “infected” chips will lock-up in a normal working environment.
In a closely related story, all but two 690G-based motherboards are incapable of disabling the TLB workaround…