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AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition

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Posted April 27, 2010 by Jake in CPU & Motherboards

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by Jake
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Summary

AMD’s Phenom II X6 is a fantastic chip, both at stock and overclocked speeds. Its overclockability now settles into Intel’s Core i7 territory, previously unattainable until now.  Needless to say, Thuban completely flies ahead of its Deneb-based little brothers in just about every facet. While not all programs can fully utilize all 6 cores, the Turbo CORE technology can re-allocate computing resources to those that do, effectively and efficiently optimizing usage.  It is important to remember that Turbo Core is still in its infancy, and as it matures, it should prove to be quite valuable.

Since the hex-core Intel 980X is absurdly expensive, comparisons between it and the Phenom X6 would be pointless.  So when the price points are taken into account, the Core i7 lineup is positioned as the competitor here instead.  And this is where Thuban makes its mark: the Phenom II X6 can beat the Core i7 in programs that can fully utilize the six physical cores, whereas the Core i7 (Bloomfield / Lynnfield) only has 4 cores, and the 4 virtual threads don’t scale nearly as well as real, physical cores. As a result, the Phenom X6 is showing some impressive performance results, and once Zosmo is out, we can expect some very affordable quad core chips that overclock like beasts.  We suspect there may be a bit of hand-wringing over at the Intel camp right about now.

Value-wise, the Leo platform simply can’t be beat. For the cost of the Intel 980X alone, you can have most of the components for a complete AMD Leo-based setup. Add the fact that it is a drop-in upgrade for AM2+ systems is absolutely wonderful. Rather than having separate sockets for Athlon II and Phenom II, AMD has allowed consumers to simply upgrade an older setup without having to do a complete overhaul on core components. Regardless of anyone’s fanboy tendencies, that is a smart business move on the part of AMD, and it’s no wonder that brand loyalty is so high among their customers.

Thuban is definitely a game changer. The argument could be made that AMD is reacting to Intel on the hex-core side of things, but we’re not convinced that the 980X is even remotely priced in a realm that anyone but the most well-heeled customers would ever tread.  On the flipside, then, it could be well argued that AMD is establishing the trend and cutting a path directly to the hex-core market with Thuban.  In that case, rather than AMD having to react to Intel, it may just be that Intel will have to react to AMD for a change, especially in the mainstream market. Thuban’s release is part of a resurgence for AMD, having two profitable quarters, a very popular 5000 series graphics card lineup as part of their ATI division, and now producing a very impressive processor in Thuban.  We can only sit on the edge of our seats as we await future chips (and guacamole) from AMD. While we wait for Bulldozer, Thuban will no doubt keep enthusiasts smiling.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition

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