AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Processor Review
Back in January, we were absolutely convinced that we had seen the last hurrah for the venerable quad-core 45nm 'Deneb' die when we reviewed the Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition processor. However, apparently we were wrong. Despite AMD die-hards and enthusiasts in general biting their nails in anticipation of the upcoming Llano and Bulldozer processors, AMD has seen fit to release yet another incremental update to this long lived product line. This time it is in the form of the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition.
This new multiplier-unlocked and enthusiast-friendly model is clocked at an impressive 3.7Ghz, a 100Mhz increase over the aforementioned X4 975, and is otherwise identical to previous model. It will even slot into the latter's $195 USD price point, providing a relatively affordable upgrade path for budget-conscious users who are clinging to their AM3 motherboards. This new model is not a direct competitor to Intel's Sandy Bridge processors -although that competition is coming very soon indeed- but rather an attempt by AMD to bolster their lineup a little bit in the mean time.
The competition in the CPU market may be intense with products at every conceivable price point but AMD is sincerely hoping this new processor will appeal to budget-mined overclockers who don't want to spend the extra $30 on a K-series Intel chip. Considering how close we are to the release of AMD's new architectures, this may be the perfect placeholder until upcoming products begin showing up.
So without further ado, on to the review.
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