AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 125W
Today’s examination of the Phenom II X4 965 was like deja vu all over again: same outward appearance, model, speed, and performance, but different stepping and TDP. Like identical twins, we had to look very carefully to tell the difference; in fact, we labelled them to keep things straight.
In the overclocking arena, we did indeed push the 125W version further than its 140W predecessor, though it wasn’t terribly much, only a 5% increase. Our ultimate clock speed with the 125W chip was 4.1 GHz as opposed to the 3.9 GHz of the previous X4 965. We do believe the 64-bit OS and air cooling was preventing us from achieving higher raw speeds overall, but for the sake of consistency we kept the test setup the same. We did, however, hit a wall at 4.0GHz on the 140W chip, even with higher-powered thermoelectric cooling; we simply couldn’t get the chip to budge. Yet on the 125W version, we could post at 4.3 GHz, so that shows some promise if we swapped to 32-bit Vista and strapped on some more exotic cooling.
In terms of pricing, AMD has stated to us that the X4 965 125W will be available for $195 USD. Considering that the 140W version is also currently available for $195 USD, we suspect that this pricing scheme may cause a short term price drop for the 140W chip (though we doubt it and time will tell), but ultimately the 140W stock will simply dwindle and disappear off the shelves, leaving only the newer chip. In the short term, however, if you plan on ordering a new X4 965 Black Edition, make sure it’s the new 125W version.
Our opinion of the 125W of the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition hasn’t changed much from when we first examined the 140W version; we think it’s a great processor and it does bring mildly lower power consumption and higher overclocking headroom. The result is not earth-shattering, but it does have AMD moving in the right direction, and this combination is a welcome addition to the AMD lineup.
AMD Phenom II X4 965 125W