AMD's new Phenom II X4 955 Still Can't Match Intel's i7 CPUs

Chipmaker AMD has announced another update to its Phenom II range in the form of the X4 955 Black Edition, a 3.2GHz model that is unlocks and promises to overclock significantly better than its predecessors.

The processor though will not be competiting against Intel's new range of Core i7 processors but rather against the oder Core 2 Quad series of CPU which it manages to do quite well.

At $245, it is cheaper than Intel's Core 2 Quad Q9550 processor and should prove to be a hit with enthusiasts who want to prolonge the life of their AM2+ platforms.

The real story here though is that AMD's 45nm manufacturing technology is mature enough to allow users to double the speed of the processor though overclocking - the Black edition comes with an unlocked multiplier.

Users will be able to use the processor on AM3 and AM2+ sockets with DDR3 and DDR2 memory respectively. The Phenom X4 955 has also been tweaked to save up to 50 percent power when idling and 40 percent during intensive use.

Potential customers can expect another processor update sometimes in the future since AMD's Phenom II platform seems to have some headroom.

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Our Comments

Looking at the Phenom range right now, we feel as if the technology is rapidly approaching a performance ceiling. Speed can be increased to get better performance but it will generate more heat. The X4 945 for example, AMD's previous top champ, generated 125W. While Phenom II is in no way like Intel's infamouse Prescott range, it is not that far.

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