AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition


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AMD’s New Speed Demon – Phenom II 965 : Today, AMD is announcing a new flagship processor, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition. This is nothing more than a speed bump for the Dragon platform, but all of these speed bumps are starting to add up and the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor runs at an impressive 3.4GHz.


The silicon itself is the same revision as the Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition that we previously reviewed, so the only thing that has changed on specifications is the max TDP. The performance should scale predictably and the price of the Phenom II X4 965 BE will be $245, which is what the Phenom II X4 955 was back in May 2009 when it first launched. That means all of the other processors will have their prices slightly lowered in order for this new flagship processor to enter the market.



With a clock frequency of 3.4GHz, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is the fastest clocked quad-core processor that AMD has ever released. The best part of the Phenom II X4 965 is that is can be purchased for just $245 shipped. Based on pricing alone, the Phenom II X4 965 could be best compared to the $220 shipped Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz processor.


Taking a closer look at the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition with CPU-Z 1.52.1 you can see the details on this 3.4GHz monster. This processor is based off the same 45nm ‘Deneb’ core that the previous Phenom II processors and the core itself was made by GLOBALFOUNDARIES at Fab 1 module 1 in Dresden, Germany (formerly AMD Fab 36) using 45nm DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology. The Phenom II X4 965 has a full 6MB of L3 cache, which is a must for gamers and power users. The Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition is an AM3 processor, AM3 processors are 100% backwards compatible with motherboards using AM2+ sockets, which means you do not have to run out and buy a brand new Socket AM3 motherboard and a DDR3 memory kit to upgrade to one of these processors. Any Socket AM2+ motherboard will work, which is nice as DDR2 memory kits are still cost effective for those on a budget.

CPU NameCoresClockL2/L3 CacheHT BusSocketTDPPrice
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE43.4GHz2+6MB4000MHzAM3140W$245
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE43.2GHz2+6MB4000MHzAM3125W$210
AMD Phenom II X4 94543.0GHz2+6MB4000MHzAM3125W$187
AMD Phenom II X4 94043.0GHz2+6MB3600MHzAM2+125W$196
AMD Phenom II X4 92042.8GHz2+6MB3600MHzAM2+125W$160
AMD Phenom II X4 905e42.5GHz1.5+6MB4000MHzAM365W$201
AMD Phenom II X4 81042.6GHz2+4MB4000MHzAM395W$181
AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE32.8GHz1.5+6MB4000MHzAM395W$130
AMD Phenom II X3 71032.6GHz1.5+6MB4000MHzAM395W$99
AMD Phenom II X3 705e32.5GHz1.5+6MB4000MHzAM365W$130
AMD Phenom II X2 55023.1GHz1+6MB4000MHzAM380W$103
AMD Athlon II X2 25023.0GHz2MB4000MHzAM365W$76

The AMD Phenom II and Athlon II product stack is strong as usual with prices starting out at just $76 for the AMD Athlon II X2 250 and rising up to $245 for the Phenom II X4 965 BE that we are looking at today. AMD clearly has budget friendly processors that have great features and clock frequencies. AMD informed us that they are cooking up some exciting bundle deals on, or shortly after, the August 13th launch of this processor. The main bundle they will be promoting will be the Phenom II X4 965 BE processor combined with a range of motherboards to choose from where the bundle is discounted ~$40 or more (depending on the motherboard chosen). Looks like AMD will be taking a good push to get some of these processors picked up with the release of Microsoft Windows 7. Let’s take a look at how the AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE processor does against 29 other processors.


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