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AMD Athlon II X4 645, AMD Phenom II X4 970, AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

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There was a pause after the rollout of the first hexacore processors AMD Phenom II X6 about half a year ago. Of course, attentive users noticed certain price reductions, the release of new mobile processors and updates to server and embedded series. But those events were not as important for most users as desktop CPU announcements could've been. But now that autumn has come it's time to reap a new harvest. Today we shall review updates to three series: the hexacore and both quad-core.

Let's start from the bottom. The Athlon II X4 645 is probably the most predictable addition. As you remember, this series consists of quad-core models which differ from the Phenom II X4 by having no L3 cache. Such processors have compact cores and can be decently overclocked at keeping heat dissipation at moderate levels. As the process technology matures it traditionally yields new models, each adding 100MHz to the previous maximum clock rate. So chances are we'll also see the Athlon II X4 650 3.2GHz and the Athlon II X4 655 3.3GHz. But that might be it, because a new core shall have been readied by that time.

The Phenom II X4 970 almost similarly continues the higher-end quad-core series, because, despite the rollout of hexacore models, such processors are still popular among enthusiasts and users who pay attention to performance in traditional benchmarks which are far from being perfectly tailored for multiple cores. Like Phenom II X4 965, this CPU has unlocked multiplier and the same TDP of 125W. But there are different variants. The first comes in OEM shipments with the product number HDZ970FBK4DGR. These are Zosma-based hexacore models with two cores disabled. The second variant is based on the Deneb core. These models are marked with the "M" suffix. Formally, these two variants have identical specifications, but those willing to try their luck in unlocking will hunt for the first. Although no one can guarantee that Turbo CORE will work with such an unlocked model.

Finally, there is the Phenom II X6 1075T 3.0GHz (3.5GHz with up to 3 cores in use) which fits between 1055T and 1090. Considering that there are both regular and Black editions (i.e. with locked and unlocked multipliers), it can be a good choice for those looking for the golden mean among hexacore models.


CPU Phenom II X4 965 Phenom II X4 970 Phenom II X6 1055T Phenom II X6 1075T
Core Deneb Deneb Thuban Thuban
Process technology, nm 45 45 45 45
Core clock rate (std/max), GHz 3.4 3.5 2.8/3.3 3.0/3.5
Cores (HT threads) 4 4 6 6
L1 cache, I/D, KB 64/64 64/64 64/64 64/64
L2 cache, KB 4x512 4x512 6x512 6x512
L3 cache, KB 6144 6144 6144 6144
RAM DDR2-1066, DDR3-1333 DDR2-1066, DDR3-1333 DDR2-1066, DDR3-1333 DDR2-1066, DDR3-1333
Socket AM2+/AM3 AM2+/AM3 AM2+/AM3 AM2+/AM3
TDP, W 125 125 95/125 125
Price Newegg, Amazon Newegg, Amazon Newegg, Amazon Newegg, Amazon

CPU Athlon II X4 640 Athlon II X4 645 Core i5-655K Core i5-760
Core Propus Propus Clarkdale Lynnfield
Process technology, nm 45 45 32 45
Core clock rate (std/max), GHz 3.0 3.1 3.2/3.5 2.9/3.5
Cores (HT threads) 4 4 2 (4) 4
L1 cache, I/D, KB 64/64 64/64 32/32 32/32
L2 cache, KB 4x512 4x512 2x256 4x256
L3 cache, KB - - 4096 8192
RAM DDR2-1066, DDR3-1333 DDR2-1066, DDR3-1333 DDR3-1333 DDR3-1333
Socket AM2+/AM3 AM2+/AM3 LGA1156 LGA1156
TDP, W 95 95 73 95
Price Newegg, Amazon Newegg, Amazon Newegg, Amazon Newegg, Amazon

  Motherboard RAM (actual mode)
Socket AM3 Gigabyte 890FXA-UD7 (AMD 890FX) Apacer PC3-10600 (2xDDR3-1333, 9-9-9-24-1T, Unganged Mode)
LGA1156 Gigabyte P55A-UD6 (P55) Kingston KVR1333D3N9K3/6G (2xDDR3-1333; 9-9-9-24)

  • Seagate 7200.11 SATA 3Gbps HDD
  • Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler
  • PowerColor HD5870 1GB GDDR5 graphics card
  • SeaSonic M12D 750W PSU

We compared the processors under review with their closest neighbors in the AMD's series, as well as with two "borderline" models of the Intel Core i5 series, because that's what the novelties should compete with from both practical and economic points of view.

The Athlon II X4 has a good chance to catch up with the lower-end i5-600 processors thanks to 4 physical cores opposed by 4 hyper-threaded ones. And the Phenom II X4 has caught up with the higher-end i5-700 models in terms of clock rate. Considering the actual clock rate in the first case and the turbo-boosted one in the second case, this makes odds even. As for the lower-end Phenom II X6, these processors have no direct rivals at all. Although they are priced similarly to the aforementioned solutions.

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