AMD Phenom II X4 840 & X4 975 Black Edition Processors Review

Author: MAC
Date: January 3, 2011
Product Name: AMD Phenom II X4 840 / 975 Black Edition Processor
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Exactly 24 hours ago, Intel revealed their brand new Sandy Bridge architecture and for the most part the accompanying processors were well received. In an effort to add to the pre-CES deluge of product announcements, AMD has decided to join in on the fun by introducing two new products of their own. While we wonít be seeing a new desktop architecture from AMD for the next little while, upcoming Phenom and Athlon processors will feature an increased focus upon performance per dollar. Make no mistake about it: thatís good news for consumers.

This isnít necessarily a response to Sandy Bridge - thatís coming in a few months - but rather an attempt by AMD to flesh out their Q1 2011 lineup with two parts that are cut from very different pieces of cloth. The star of this show is the enthusiast friendly 3.6Ghz Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition which is supposed to provide an affordable upgrade path for budget-conscious users who still have older AM3 processors. With a price of just under $200, we can see this being highly appealing for AMDís intended audience.

The other processor being launched may not have the star status that comes with the ďBlack EditionĒ moniker but in our eyes it is just as interesting as its enthusiast-marketed big brother. AMD has high expectations for the new Phenom II X4 840; a native quad core processor thatís priced at a mere $102. No matter which way you look at things, this is a simply amazing value regardless of the 840ís lack of an L3 cache structure.

For the time being, Intel has a strangle hold on a large portion of the current high-end CPU market and for the most part AMDís has been content to let them have it. The X4 975 BE and X4 840 likely wonít change things all that much but their goal isnít market leading performance. What AMD is after here is a balance of price, performance and adaptability to the upcoming AM3+ platform which they hope will appeal to an ever-expanding customer base.


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