AMD Phenom II X6 1055T & 1090T Six-Core Processors Review

Author: MAC
Date: April 26, 2010
Product Name: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T & 1090T Processors
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Frankly, AMD have done an ACE job with these new processors. The results really do speak for themselves. In applications that utilize more than four threads, the new Phenom II X6 is generally a phenomenal performer, leaving the Phenom II X4's in the dust and nearly always competitive with the mainstream Intel Core i5 & Core i7 LGA1156/LGA1366 processors. In single to triple-threaded workloads, where Intel chips have reigned for a long time due to their higher IPC, the Turbo CORE feature certainly makes its presence felt, providing significant performance gains. Having said that, we really wish that the Turbo feature was not only limited to 3 cores, since on 4 cores it would have really provided some noteworthy performance gains across a larger swathe of applications.

Anyone who already owns an AM2+/AM3 system and is looking for improved multi-threaded performance would be foolish not to consider jumping on the Phenom II X6 bandwagon. For $200, you can have a new six-core 1055T chip that can fairly easily hit about 4.0Ghz , what's not to love? It is a mainstream power user's dream. Having said that, make sure that your applications can harness this processor's capabilities. There are only a tiny handful of games that can make use of more than 4 threads, so don't bother upgrading your Phenom II X4 just yet since you likely won't be too impressed with the additional power.

Speaking of power, we were very pleased to see that these chips have roughly the same power consumption as the higher-end Phenom II X4 processors. This is an accomplishment for AMD and GlobalFoundries since they have managed to increase multi-threading performance by up to 50% without increasing power usage, and without having to resort to a new manufacturing process. They also run exceptionally cool too, which is a blessing compared to the usually scorching hot Intel Core i7 processors. This is a huge boon since it means you can overclock without worrying about having to spend a small fortune on cooling solutions. And you should overclock (at your own risk, of course) since many of these chips are capable reaching a stable 4.0Ghz with a minimal voltage increase which is actually a slight improvement over the latest C3 revision Phenom II's.

Again, we can only repeat that these new Thuban chips will absolutely appeal to those who take their multi-threading performance serious, those who don't have an unlimited budget, or those who do not want to upgrade their whole system. If either of those three categories applies to you, then you can't go wrong with Phenom II X6. Now having said that, if you are building a general purpose system from scratch then a Core i5-750 / Core i7-860 / Xeon X3440 processor combined with a dirt-cheap H55-based motherboard might be your best choice since it will have lower power consumption and more even performance across the board.

Nevertheless, we highly recommend that those who plan to run heavily threaded workloads take a solid look at AMD's new Thuban-based processors.


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