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A Review On: AMD Phenom II X4 960T Processor, Black Edition, 3.0 4 Socket AM3 - HD96ZTWFGRBOX

AMD Phenom II X4 960T Processor, Black Edition, 3.0 4 Socket AM3 - HD96ZTWFGRBOX

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2thAche
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Pros: Great OC headroom as X4 (for an AMD), potential to unlock to X6

Cons: Rare, as X6 at 4.0 barely keeps up with stock 3570K, sucks power

Background: I picked this chip up because I knew its potential and Microcenter happened to have one for $89. If you enjoy overclocking AMDs, you'll like this CPU and I honestly had fun working with it.

Overclocking: On a M4A79XTD Evo I was able to unlock to an X6 and get it stable at 4.0 at only 1.42VCore (BIOS) as a 24/7 daily-use OC with CnQ enabled. Heat is an issue and I had to put a fan on my VRMs and move to an H100 to avoid throttling under full load. At 1.5VCore, this CPU was Windows stable (no stress testing done) at 4.5 as an X4 or 4.4 as an X6. Pretty impressive for Phenom II. I was happy with 4.0 as X6 and did not do any stress testing past that, but this chip has alot of potential for suicide runs or maximum 24/7 OCs.

Performance: Lets face it, I have two 3570K CPUs running 4.0GHz at stock settings that beat my 960T's X6 4.0GHz performance hands down, and use less than half the power and have no need for exotic cooling. If you are in the market for a new system, this isn't a reasonable option compared with IB or SB.

Breakdown: If you enjoy overclocking and wanted to try something different, this chip is fun. If you have a good AM2+ or AM3 board and want to max it out, this is the chip for you. I believe a 4.3-4.4GHz X4 daily OC is completely reasonable if you have the right board. I think 4.2-ish could be had as X6 with reasonable voltage and run daily as well. You'll need to think about VRM cooling and higher-end CPU cooling if you're planning on an unlocked OC.

2 Comments:

Yes do you recommend VRM cooling if you want to use x6 unlocked+ overclocked for 24/7 use?

I bought this chip about a month or 2 ago, one of the last retailers just had a couple of them for sale!
(i live in the netherlands) Stopid stores in the UK didnt want to ship!!

So far i am just overclocking sinds im not experianced in that, i got it stable 3,4Gz Soon 3,8Ghz
My chip unlocked to a x6 but im having a hard time getting it 100% stable.

Also worried sinds i cant read CoreTemp when unlocked.
Throttling is not a stability problem, it's the motherboard reducing the CPU multiplier due to excessive heat somewhere. It can be from the VRMs or the CPU overheating. So during Prime95 for example, you may be completely stable with no errors, but you'll notice the CPU speed fluctuating up and down.