Latest News Posts

Social
Latest Forum Posts

Phenom II X6 1090T – AMD Enters the Six-Core Arena
Bookmark and Share

amd_phenom_ii_x6_box_042810.jpg
Print
by Rob Williams on April 28, 2010 in AMD Processors

In March, it was Intel’s turn, and this month, it’s AMD’s. That’s right, we’re at the point when Phenom II X6’s are hitting the market and giving consumers a much less expensive six-core CPU to chose from. We’re taking a look at AMD’s top-end offering, the 1090T BE, and also a brief look at the company’s new 890FX chipset.

Introduction

When Intel released its first-ever six-core (or hexa-core) processor in early March, we already knew at the time that it wouldn’t be too long before AMD hit the scene with its own six-core models. This was reassuring, because as things have gone for AMD on the CPU side lately, it’s been hard to predict just how far the company could fall behind the “Sponsors of Tomorrow”.

It’s one thing to match Intel with a six-core product, but it’s another to deliver the same kind of performance. Based off of what we’ve seen with Phenom II models up to this point, it was easy to surmise what kind of performance gains we’d see with an X6 chip. It’s clear that the performance won’t match up evenly, but AMD would certainly win from a value aspect.

That aspect is one thing AMD is highlighting pretty heavily with this launch. While Intel offers only a single six-core processor, the Core i7-980X Extreme Edition at $999, AMD states that you could save a lot of money by buying one of its processors and building a PC around it. Think about it for a moment. The X6 1090T is $299, an ATI Radeon HD 5870 is $399 and a sweet AM3 890FX motherboard is at most $199. That’s about $900… still less than Intel’s only six-core offering by itself.

Intel’s six-core aside, the fairest competition to the X6 1090T is the Core i7-930, a quad-core offering. While we don’t have that particular CPU model here (we have the slightly slower i7-920), it will be interesting to see how the two match up. Can Intel’s quad-core with HyperThreading beat AMD’s six-core without? That’s the big question.

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Six Core Processor
CPU-Z: AMD’s Phenom II X6 1090T

There’s a lot more to AMD’s X6 launch models than the fact that each include six cores, though, as these “Thuban” parts also introduce the company’s implementation of Turbo, called Turbo CORE. Like Intel’s version, AMD’s overclocks individual cores if an extra boost is required. On the 1090T in particular, three of the cores can be ramped up to 3.60GHz each if need be (that equates to a +400MHz boost * 3).

Thuban models aren’t much different from Deneb (X4) Phenom II’s, with Turbo CORE being the big addition. The CPU’s still have 6MB of L3 Cache, 512KB L2 Cache per core, and 4000MHz HyperTransport speeds. They’re also built on the same 45nm process, and despite the extra cores, the rated TDP still sits at 125W (Intel’s Core i7-980X is rated at 130W).

Before we jump ahead, it’s always interesting to take an overview look of AMD’s current models so let’s not break tradition and do that here:

CPU Name
Cores
Clock
Cache (L2/L3)
HT Bus
Socket
TDP
1Ku Price
Phenom II X6 1090T BE
6
3.0GHz
3+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
125W
$295
Phenom II X6 1055T
6
2.8GHz
3+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
125W
$199
Phenom II X4 965 BE
4
3.4GHz
2+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
125W
$185
Phenom II X4 955 BE
4
3.2GHz
2+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
125W
$165
Phenom II X4 945
4
3.0GHz
2+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
125W
$155
Phenom II X4 910e
4
2.6GHz
2+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
65W
$175
Phenom II X4 905e
4
2.5GHz
2+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
65W
$165
Phenom II X2 555 BE
2
3.2GHz
1+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
80W
$105
Phenom II X2 550
2
3.1GHz
1+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
80W
$93
Phenom II X2 545
2
3.1GHz
1+6MB
4000MHz
AM3
80W
$88

Although AMD has plans for future X6 models, only the 1090T Black Edition and 1055T models have been released so far. The 1090T BE is clocked at 3.20GHz and can reach a 3.60GHz Turbo CORE, while the 1055T is a 2.80GHz offering and can reach 3.30GHz using Turbo CORE. The pricing of these two models, not surprisingly, varies by a rather wide margin; $295 for the 1090T and $199 for the 1055T. It can be assumed that the latter will be the more popular of the two.