AMD Adds to Six-Core Phenomenon


The CRN Test Center evaluated the 3.2GHz Phenom II X6 1090T part on a Crosshair IV Formula, a brand new motherboard model from AsusTek. Also available in a 2.8GHz model (1055T), both Phenom II X6 parts use AMD's 890FX chipset, which now supports as many as four separate graphics adapters (using TI CrossFireX technology) as well as the ATI Radeon 5800 Eyefinity 6 high-end cards. The supporting chips also add support for the SATA 6 Gb/s spec as well as USB 3.0 and its dedicated PCI express link, as long as it's provided by the motherboard (as the tested Asus model does). The 890FX chipset also provides support in hardware for the IOMMU (input/output memory management unit), which enables virtualized devices such as graphics adapters to use their own native drivers to address physical memory, thereby improving performance of the device as well as that of the overall system.

The test system was populated with a matched pair of 2 GB DDR3 1333 DIMMs in a two-channel configuration totalling 4 GB. Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit was installed along with drivers from the Asus-supplied CD. The 64-bit version of GeekBench 2.1.5 was then executed multiple times, and recorded a high score of 9,301, about two-thirds the score of 13,385 delivered by Intel's Core i7 Extreme 980X in recent tests performed by the Test Center. That Intel chip lists for $999 and often sells for more. When dividing performance by price, the AMD Phenom II X6 delivers a cost-to-performance ratio of 31, while Intel scores a 13.

By default, the Phenom II is relatively power-hungry, however, peaking at 189 watts during benchmark execution. During average workload, consumption hovered at around 94 watts. Still, for the reseller seeking a low-cost alternative to Intel parts that still delivers great performance, the AMD Phenom II X6 fills the bill nicely, and receives a strong recommendation by the CRN Test Center.

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