AMD’s Phenom II X6 still hasn’t been officially launched yet, but it’s turning out to be one of the worst kept secrets since the iPad. The latest missile to hit the AMD gossip train is a collection of photos of the retail boxed versions of the chips, which have apparently been snapped in China.
Photographs of three Phenom II X6 boxes have just appeared on Expreview, revealing a slightly different approach to branding. Eschewing the serious black and grey packaging of AMD’s other Phenom II chips, the new X6 chips come in a livelier purple and blue colour scheme.
Perhaps more importantly, however, is the specs label, which confirms a lot of the rumours about the chip. Only the Phenom II X6 1055T box has been detailed, but this shows that the chip will indeed be clocked at 2.8GHz, just as Gigabyte’s CPU Support list predicted.
As well as this, the label also reveals that the chip will come with AMD’s Turbo Core technology. As with Intel’s Turbo Boost, this enables individual cores to be overclocked when less than half of the other cores are active. A leaked roadmap from last month, showed that Turbo Core could effectively enable the 1055T to be clocked at 3.3GHz.
In addition, the label confirms that the total amount of cache is 9MB, presumably with each core getting 512KB of Level 2 cache, along with a shared 6MB pool of Level 3 cache.
What’s really interesting, however, is the price. Expreview says that it picked up the chips for RMB1,999 a piece, which works out at just £190.33, before you’ve accounted for the usual UK rip-off mark-up. Even so, this is significantly cheaper than Intel’s current six-core desktop offering. The Core i7 980X Extreme currently goes for a whopping £866.17 inc VAT. Okay, so the Gulftown chip is likely to be quicker, but it’s unlikely to be over four times the speed.
What’s more, the 1055T isn’t even the cheapest six-core chip planned. Previous rumours have suggested that a cheaper 1035T clocked at 2.6GHz will also be available. Plus, we’ve also got the quicker 1075T and 1090T to look forward to as well.
Although AMD’s ageing CPU architecture is looking pretty rusty compared to Intel’s new Core i7 and i5 chips, it will be interesting to see whether the extra two cores make-up for any of the performance shortfall, especially when the X6 chips are priced similarly to Intel’s quad-core chips. In heavily multi-threaded apps, it may be that AMD’s Phenom II X6 chips pull away. Now we’ve just got to wait for the first benchmarks.