AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition

Posted: May 2, 2010 in Uncategorized

Forget about 2010 being the Year of the Tablet: It more appropriately needs to be called the Year of Six. First came Intel’s six-core “Gulftown” Core i7-980X CPU, which redefined the top of Intel’s processor lineup. Then there was AMD’s ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity6 Edition video card, which could drive up to half a dozen monitors at once. Now AMD is also meeting up with Intel on the boxcars with the release of its own new family of six-core CPUs: the Phenom II X6.

Though a few details about the new family were released last month, the chips themselves make their debut today, crowning off the performance segment of AMD’s own CPU lines. (The others, in descending order of power, are the X4, the X3, and the X2 families.) The inaugural members of this new clan are the Phenom II X6 1055T and the Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition. In terms of price and performance, the 1090T gives you exactly what AMD has led you to expect in recent years—for better or for worse.

According to AMD, the Phenom II X6 CPUs are the company’s new flagship desktop processors, as well as the fastest AMD has put out to date. Given that they also have the most processing cores, this isn’t exactly surprising, but otherwise there haven’t been that many major changes since the last generation of CPUs.

One of the most significant is that processors in the Phenom II X6 family support AMD’s new Turbo CORE technology. Like Intel’s own Turbo Boost, Turbo CORE can “deactivate” unused or underutilized processing cores in order to boost the performance of the others. In the case of the Phenom II X6 chips, a minimum of three cores to “shut off” are required.

The Phenom II X6 processors are designed to be used in tandem with motherboards based on AMD’s 8-Series chipsets, particularly the new 890FX chipset, which is launching with the X6 family. These offer features as diverse as support for up to four discrete PCIe video cards, the AMD OverDrive software for overclocking, native support for 6-Gbps SATA, and (at least on many motherboards) USB 3.0. The new 890FX chipset, also launching with the Phenom II X6 CPUs,

Of the two Phenom II X6 CPUs released today, the only real difference comes in terms of clock speed: both actual and potential. The Phenom II X6 1055T has a standard core frequency of 2.8 GHz that can rise to 3.3 GHz when Turbo CORE is enabled, and the 1090T has a standard frequency of 3.2 GHz that can rise to 3.6 GHz.

Otherwise, both CPUs are practically identical, 45nm chips designed for the AM3 socket, with TDPs of 125 watts. Each processor also has one 16-bit/16-bit HyperTransport link at up to 4000 MTps at full duplex or up to 16 GBps bandwidth memory, and an integrated memory controller up to 21 GBps (dual-channel). Intel’s CPUs have definitely undergone the more visible changes this time around.

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