Advanced Micro Devices, the worldâ€™s second largest maker of x86 central processing units, has added yet another quad-core processor aimed at performance-minded customers into its family of products. The new chip still cannot match high-end offerings from Intel Corp., however, may still keep AMDâ€™s loyal customers with the company and increase the firmâ€™s average selling price.
AMD Phenom X4 9950 â€œBlack Editionâ€ processor with four processing engines operates at 2.60GHz, sports 2MB of L2 cache (512KB per core), 2MB of unified L3 cache as well as dual-channel DDR2 memory controller. The chip is made using 65nm process technology and has incredible 140W thermal design power, which is much higher TDP than that of Intelâ€™s mainstream quad-core chips (95W).
The new microprocessors should be compatible with enthusiast-class AM+ mainboards and may not work on affordable platforms which are not designed to support microprocessors that consume 140W of energy.
AMDâ€™s the Black Edition processors have unlocked clock multiplier, which allows enthusiasts to clock the new chip higher than default frequncy without any issues that are associated with overclocking. The customizable clock multiplier and auto-adjustable memory frequency of the new chip enables amateurs and value-conscious enthusiasts to maximize the performance of their desktop computers without substantial hassles. Typically enthusiasts have to increase base HyperTransport bus speed from default 200MHz, which eventually causes not only CPU clock-speed boost, but also alters HT bus and memory frequency, meaning that other components apart from the microprocessor also should be able to handle increased speeds.
AMD Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition chip costs $235 in 1000-unit quantities, just $11 more compared to Intelâ€™s cheapest quad-core processor.