Despite rumours abounding on the net, ASRock can be officially thanked for letting the cat out of the bag. As seen on their CPU support list, AMD intends to add a new CPU to the pedestal of their lineup.
The Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is identical to the 955, the current king of the hill, sporting the 512KBx4 Cache + 6MB of L3, the 2000MHz HT and 125W TDP. The 965 merely features a clock speed of 3.4GHz, making it the fastest CPU (clock speed wise) on the market. According to the support list, the CPU will be given the model number: HDZ965FBK4DGI (BE). The 965 will also be featured as a Black Edition, with an unlocked multiplier, making it an extremely attractive option for overclocking enthusiasts.
The one remaining question is regarding price. With the current 955, priced affordably at $290 CAD/$250USD, will the 965 be priced higher, around the same level as the Intel i7 920? Or, will AMD shuffle its CPU pricing, to put the 965 at the current 955′s cost and keep the whole lineup priced under Intel’s slowest new gen CPU?
With AMD’s current pricing strategy, they have been able to cannibalize some of the enthusiast market from Intel’s grasp. With unlocked processors achieving exceptional speeds, for under $300, and equally affordable motherboards and ram , AMD has yet again shown that they are indeed the price/performance champions. If the release of the Phenom II X4 965 BE does in fact push down pricing of the current chips, the slightly slower, yet also unlocked 955 Black Edition, will be an even more attractive system option.
A release date has not yet been set, but given the ASRock motherboard listing, one can only suspect it is not far off.