AMD Phenom II X4 975 BE and 840
While the performance of these chips isn’t an earth shattering paradigm shift, the performance is pretty good for the most part. But it’s nothing new really from the X4 975. However, where the X4 840 is concerned, it’s a different story as AMD again provides the best bang for your buck. We’ve yet to see what Intel’s Sandy Bridge will do to the prices Bloomfield and Lynnfield Core i7s, but if it bumps them down significantly, then Sunnyvale may have a problem.
The Phenom II X4 840 is a fantastic deal, pretty much making the Athlon II X4 chips obsolete. We did ask about them, and they aren’t going anywhere, so we’ll see how things shake out once the 840 settles into the market. We have a feeling the Athlon II X4 chips will simply start to fade away as people see the excellent value in the Phenom II X4 840.
The X4 975 isn’t as good a deal in terms of performance per dollar, as the 840 isn’t far off the pace. The 975 gets a simple minor speed boost, but it does overclock rather well if you put some effort into it. The problem, however, is that the new Sandy Bridge Core i5 2400 beats the X4 975 in every benchmark hands down, and costs about the same. We get the distinct impression that the 975 is simply a stop-gap measure until Bulldozer arrives from AMD. The flagship Phenom II X4 chips are getting long in the tooth and cannot match the efficiency of the new Intel architecture. And the price on the base Core i5 treads directly into AMD’s territory of providing great performance per dolllar.
We love the 840 chip since it offers excellent performance for the price. But the 975 chip has lost its sparkle; it simply cannot compete on performance or pricing levels against Intel’s Sandy Bridge Core i5 2400 for those on a mid-range budget.
So, as we’ve seen and said before, unless you’re a benchmark fiend or workstation aficionado, you probably won’t notice the difference from Intel to AMD except in your pocket book. We’ll be the first to add that the original purchasers of Bloomfield, two years ago when 1366 appeared still have incredibly powerful systems, but with the way Intel is going now, making a new socket every time they want to release a new product, we’d stick to AMD for longevity. We just have to hope that Bulldozer can hold its own. It’ll finally bring that 32nm die shrink and a new product to AMD’s lineup.
AMD Phenom II X4 975
AMD Phenom II X4 840