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Phenom II X6 1090T – AMD Enters the Six-Core Arena
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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.

System: Sandra Memory, Multi-Core Efficiency

Generally speaking, the faster the processor, the higher the system-wide bandwidth and the lower the latency. As is always the case, faster is better when it comes to processors, as we’ll see below. But with Core i7, the game changes up a bit.

Whereas previous memory controllers utilized a dual-channel operation, Intel threw that out the window to introduce triple-channel, which we talked a lot about at August’s IDF. Further, since Intel integrates the IMC onto the die of the new CPUs, benefits are going to be seen all-around.

Before jumping into the results, we already had an idea of what to expect, and just as we did, the results seen are nothing short of staggering.

As expected, the memory performance is pretty-well on par with the X4 965. There is a slight drop, but that could be very well related to the fact that we’re using a different motherboard for testing (890FX-based) than it would be the CPU at fault. When we revise and re-benchmark all of our CPU’s, we’ll see this for sure. As it stands though, performance is without issue.

Sandra 2009 Multi-Core Efficiency

How fast can one core swap data with another? It might not seem that important, but it definitely is if you are dealing with a true multi-threaded application. The faster data can be swapped around, the faster it’s going to be finished, so overall, inter-core speeds are important in every regard.

Even without looking at the data, we know that Core i7 is going to excel here, for a few different reasons. The main is the fact that this is Intel’s first native Quad-Core. Rather than have two Dual-Core dies placed beside each other, i7 was built to place four cores together, so that in itself improves things. Past that, the ultra-fast QPI bus likely also has something to do with speed increases.

Intel has again been superb in its inter-core latency and bandwidth performance figures, so AMD is still a bit behind here, even with six cores at its disposal. Is this a problem? Hardly, as the performance is still very good and isn’t lacking in anywhere in a big way that we can notice.


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