AMD's Phenom II shows overclocking potential

After initial overclocking disappointment with the Phenom, AMD has put effort into giving the Phenom II a fair amount of overclocking overhead.At a demo yesterday journalists were shown a 45nm Phenom II processor running at 4GHz air-cooled, 5GHz using dry ice as a coolant, and well over 5GHz using liquid nitrogen (LN2) coolant.

After initial overclocking disappointment with the Phenom, AMD has put effort into giving the Phenom II a fair amount of overclocking overhead.

At a demo yesterday journalists were shown a 45nm Phenom II processor running at 4GHz air-cooled, 5GHz using dry ice as a coolant, and well over 5GHz using liquid nitrogen (LN2) coolant.

So, what's the point of this demo? After all, not many people have access to (or want the hassle of) dry ice/LN2 cooling. To get the answer to that you have to look at the current Phenom lineup. Take the fastest x4 Phenom now available, the 140W 2.6GHz 9950. Relying on air cooling, you'll be lucky to get a stable overclock at 3.1GHz. Using LN2 and insane voltages it is possible to get it up to 4GHz.

So, what this latest demo is meant to show is that the new Phenom II processors are at least capable, and quite stable at high frequencies. Given a baseline of 125W TDP for the Phenom II, and given improvements that AMD can throw in along the way, by Q3/Q4 next year AMD could have 45nm Phenom II "Deneb" parts that can beat Intel's Core i7 "Extreme Edition" 965. By then Intel will ha undoubtedly have faster i7 parts, but this is all about AMD playing catch-up with Intel CPUs, not bettering them ... for now.

The current unofficial X4 (quad-core) and X3 (triple-core) roadmap is as follows:

X4

  • 945 3.0GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 8 MB
    TDP: 125W
    Release date: Q2 2009
  • 940 3.0GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM2+
    Total cache: 8 MB
    TDP: 125W
    Release date: Jan 8 2009
  • 925 2.8GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 8 MB
    TDP: 95W
    Release date: Feb 2009
  • 920 2.8GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM2+
    Total cache:8 MB
    TDP: 125W
    Release date: Jan 8 2009
  • 910 2.6GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 8 MB
    TDP: 95W
    Release date: Feb 2009
  • 810 2.6GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 6 MB
    TDP: 95W
    Release date: Feb 2009
  • 805 2.5GHz "Deneb"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 6 MB
    TDP: 95W
    Release date: Feb 2009

X3

  • 720 2.8GHz "Propus"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 7.5 MB
    TDP: 95W
    Release date: Feb 2009
  • 710 2.6GHz "Propus"
    Socket: AM3
    Total cache: 7.5 MB
    TDP: 95W
    Release date: Feb 2009

Thoughts? Is AMD getting it's mojo back?