New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

Summary: Some performance junkies are waiting for the new Bulldozer platform to arrive, but AMD devotees who are looking to a upgrade their system now have a new processor option in the quad-core Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition.The new Phenom is AMD's fastest quad-core to date, with a stock clock speed of 3.

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TOPICS: Processors
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Some performance junkies are waiting for the new Bulldozer platform to arrive, but AMD devotees who are looking to a upgrade their system now have a new processor option in the quad-core Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition.

The new Phenom is AMD's fastest quad-core to date, with a stock clock speed of 3.7GHz. It also comes with 6MB of L3 cache and thermal design power (TDP) of 125 watts. The Black Edition label means that the CPU's multiplier is unlocked, which eases overclocking.

The verdict from the first reviews of the Phenom II X4 980 is hardly shocking: It performs slightly better than its quad-core Phenom predecessors, but it can't hang with a new Intel Sandy Bridge processor like the Core i5-2500, even when overclocked to 4.2GHz (with air cooling).

Considering that the new AMD quad-core is priced at $195 and the Core i5-2500 is a mere $15 more (and the overclock-friendly Core i5-2500K is $30 more), there doesn't seem to be much reason to build a new desktop around the Phenom II X4 980, though you might consider it if you want to upgrade an existing socket AM2+ or AM3 system. AMD fanboys may just want to keep saving their pennies for the forthcoming Bulldozer processors instead.

Topic: Processors

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  • Oh I love how synthetic benchmarks tell the story

    Also how much more is that Sandy Bridge Motherboard. From shopping around a comparable motherboard is $25 - $50 more on average for a Sandy Bridge Processor and if you go OEM the computer cost is $100 - $200 more on average so take the whole picture into account will you?

    It is plain to see that you are a biased Intel Fanboy based on your commentary in the last paragraph. I do agree that the Bulldozer Series will be worth the wait though.
    bobiroc
    • Good point and

      @bobiroc I agree that he is an Intel Fanboy, but I am an AMD fanboy and any chance I would get to poke fun at Intel, I would take it as well so don't flame him too hard for it. Just wait for the Bulldozers to come in and pave the way of real CPU performance!
      Bates_
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @Bates_

        It's no secret that I am an AMD fan myself and have exclusively built AMD based computers for the past 15 years or so for myself and usually for my family.

        Intel makes a really good processor these days but their past business practices that I witnessed first hand working for companies like Best Buy and Gateway back in the 90's showed me how they like to operate. They would come in and give their little sales speeches and dictate to store managers that if they displayed AMD (or other processor) based computers or advertisements that they would pull incentives and marketing funding. Non-Intel computers were shoved to the back and de-badged and sales people were given queue cards telling them to say things like non-intel computers were not compatible with applications and were considerably slower and unreliable.

        While Intel may hold the top speed crown I still find that comes at a price and for most consumer's computing needs those speed differences are actually quite nominal when it came to real world performance.
        bobiroc
    • @bobiroc

      Agreed, but it's true all the same that there is no point building AMD until Bulldozer comes along. I have always liked AMD's performance per price, but it's their battery life that kept AMD off my laptop so far. Hopefully, Fusion processors with BD cores that are coming next year will change my mind.
      anono
  • O'RLY?

    Nobody cared about AMD since the Athlon64 days...

    In the performance segment, well, they are simply not there.
    Tommy S.
    • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

      @Tommy S.

      And the only people that care what brand CPU they use are the geeks. The average consumer knows no difference and if you use real world performance 90% or more would barely notice the performance differences mainly because the tasks they do day in and day out do not play a huge role. In most cases the task they are doing is processed and done before the processor even gets up to full frequency.
      bobiroc
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @bobiroc - that's their problem. They should educate themselves or get a scholarship.

        When buying a car, I want to know the engine's specifications and how it drives.

        When buying a carton of milk, I want to know when the expiration date is.

        For a computer, I want to know speed and other specifications. I know what I want a computer for so I want to know its specs. Going in with an addled mindset of "what just works" is ludicrous. I'm a Mac owner and Apple fan as well and don't care for fanboys who say "Firewall and anti-malware apps aren't needed" and not knowing or seeing the specs upfront makes me think that I might be being swindled under the hood. (iPad 1 only had 256MB of RAM; even the iPhone 4 has 512MB RAM, and the iPad is supposed to be bigger and magical. Well, it magically took money out of peoples' pockets, but that's what the people wanted... maybe I should go into marketing and take advantage of things as well...)
        HypnoToad72
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @HypnoToad72

        Yes Speed is in teh computer market, but in the real World Speed isnt' everything. On Average a generation back (At least in a gamers Mind) AMD quads out performed all iCore CPU's, and still today they compete with the 2nd Gen iCore! they are slower over all Clocks, but they perform faster. I guess the onyl thing you are right about is that you buy for what you do, so true to that. AMD markets gamers so I guess you have proven the point here. AMD Is better then Intel or par, but priced over all cheaper, which does in fact make them better!!!

        Intel has teh market simply put because of the OEM market, and Business or low end PC sales. If It was't for HP's Dell's my guess is that they would prbably be versy close in sales, and slidign more to wards AMD because of the price. I mean look at ATI HD video cards, they are in teh nieghborhood of the nVidia only because of the Price.

        Fact PC users buy because they are cheap 80% of the time, even if they have to take a hit for the hardware being slightly less.
        Ez_Customs
    • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

      @Tommy S.

      I am wondering why average of 5-10% loss of performance in the office should sway a AMD person. AMD is more multimedia then Intel and especially over the 1st Gen iCore. so if you re getting 5% less then intel as a whole, why pay 200 more? AMD chipsets are cheaper these days too, and are becomming friendly with ATI and nVidia. there isn't really any reason to buy Intel except Bragging rights, which are far from Real impressive over AMD. So what, you spend 300 more on your rig. There is no sense. Yippie, I lost 15 Frames on my Crysis, Oh my I am using a tad bit more power. So what!!
      Ez_Customs
  • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

    You say it's faster but how much faster? $30 more for the chip plus more for the mobo, may not be worth it. Plus, why not get the AMD Phenom 2 X6 1050 Black Edition? That's what I got and it's faster than the quad i5 for like $20 more and you don't have to pay more for an intel mobo.
    KBot
    • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

      @KBot

      Exactly... they always just stick to the price of the chip but in my experience and based on current and past pricing an Intel Motherboard of similar quality and features has always been more money. Intel charges more for their chipsets too.
      bobiroc
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @bobiroc - given the price, I'll go with Intel every time.

        If Apple migrates to AMD for the CPU, expect a LOT of angry Mac users.
        HypnoToad72
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @HypnoToad72

        MAC users will bennefit them more then they woudl intell, MAC users would Praise it!!!
        Ez_Customs
    • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

      @KBot My 2500K @ 4.5GHz would like to disagree... wPrime 32M pass in 9.2sec. Beat it and I will say otherwise.
      Tommy S.
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @Tommy S. My stock 1055T does WPrime 32M in ~9s. A minor OC would put it to just under 8s and a very good OC to under 7s on aftermarket air coolers. Intel gives you crippled graphics, crippled chipsets, crippled CPUs and so on. Intel will never change how they operate and deceive consumers. I can't support them in any fashion.
        PorscheRacer14
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @KBot Well, that is pretty hypothetical since your CPU runs at stock speed. Isn't it? Anyway, gaming wise a higher clocked 2600K/2500K > six core, 990X included.

        Im at 4.5GHz, 33?C idle, 60?C full load @ 1.34v cooled by a H70. Id say its a rather mild OC.
        Tommy S.
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @Tommy S.

        Thats right because out of the box in a AMD buyers purposes, doesn't have to OC them to get what they want. Intel Sandy's turn to slop. You all paid 500 more fothe Sandy bridge to get what Par Performance when compared to 2 generations back? Whats wrong with that Picture?

        The only thing you got there is a "Woot, I have a CPU built into my CPU that actuallyl Limits teh Video output by 10%, HEck yeah! I rule and I am so happy with my New age technology everyone raved that does the opposite!!
        Ez_Customs
    • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

      @KBot -

      http://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

      That's how much faster. =D
      HypnoToad72
      • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

        @HypnoToad72

        Yeah that defends everythign, a Synthetic benchmark done by an already unreliable source! Just because they host teh software doesn't make them soemone to believe, and there is so many things that can bunk a benchmark (Especiallly Synthetic) who cares what a Synthetic Bench does. They hardly influence sales, unless like you mentioned earlier, know nothing about or care nothing about the PC as long as it works group!!
        Ez_Customs
  • RE: New Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is fastest AMD quad-core CPU to date, but can't beat Sandy Bridge

    I had my AMD reviewer test the X4 980 BE, he was able to hit 4.3GHz on Air, 4.7GHz with Water, and 5.5GHz with Extreme cooling.

    His SuperPi 1M run finished in 13.3 seconds, but the X4 980 BE did fall behind the 2600 and 2500K and core i7 930.

    Here's a link to our review: http://www.pureoverclock.com/article1274.html
    stanj.miranda@...