I’ve found myself in between two product launches. From AMD we have today’s announcement: the 3.4GHz Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition.

Priced at $245, the 965 is a mere clock speed bump, but an important one. It comes at the same price as this spring’s Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition; you get more performance at the same price.

Processor Clock Speed un-core Clock L2 Cache L3 Cache TDP Price
AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4GHz 2.0GHz 2MB 6MB 140W $245
AMD Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz 2.0GHz 2MB 6MB 125W $245
AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz 2.0GHz 2MB 6MB 125W $225
AMD Phenom II X3 720 BE 2.8GHz 2.0GHz 1.5MB 6MB 95W $145
AMD Phenom II X2 550 BE 3.1GHz 2.0GHz 1MB 6MB 80W $105

It is also the highest clocked processor AMD has ever shipped; K8 topped out at 3.2GHz and the original Phenom never went beyond 2.6GHz. We're also back up to a 140W TDP, something we haven't seen since the old Phenom 9950 went away.

With the 965 BE, AMD has simplified its product lineup. The 800 series Phenom II X4 is gone, as are the DDR2-only Phenom II X4 940 and 920. Most of the 700 series is also done with. Yields are clearly improving and much of the die harvesting is clearly no longer necessary. AMD ought to get rid of the Xn suffix and just use simple model numbers at this point. For more information on the Phenom II architecture, see our launch article.

The second product launch is rumored to happen next month. It’s the introduction of Intel’s Lynnfield processor. The affordable Nehalem, available in both Core i5 and Core i7 flavors, promises to start at just $199 with motherboards in the low $100s.

The Problem at 245
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  • werfu - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    What AMD needs is a way to improve performance per clock, that's it, either K11 or something new. There's no way they'll be able to scale much past the 4Ghz point. Imagine the boost they would get, if they could provide 10% more clock efficiency, at the clock they are currently that would be a huge boost. They also need to improve the IMC. Going for 4 memory stick with AMD for now is a no go if you want to have high ram speed. Memory bandwidth is definitely a huge Intel advantage. And something like Hyperthread could be nice too. Reply
  • TheHolyLancer - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    uncore? isnt this HTT?

    Reply
  • JumpingJack - Sunday, September 21, 2014 - link

    No, uncore is not HTT.... Reply
  • medi01 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    "The problem with the $245 price point that AMD’s flagship sells at is one of positioning. It is dangerously close to the $284 price of a Core i7 920, which is generally a faster chip."

    Sorry, but shouldn't you also include motherboard price into calculation?
    Reply
  • C'DaleRider - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Well, really depends upon where you buy your parts from, doesn't it?

    Given that I have a MicroCenter and Fry's handy, the price for Intel's Core i7 cpu is $200. Combine that with an inexpensive X58 motherboard, like the MSI X58M, that has gotten quite good reviews for what it is, retails for $170.

    That gives a $370 price for mb and cpu to move to i7....cost of DDR3 memory is a wash due to both platforms requiring it.

    Of course, for those that depend upon Newegg's pricing for cpus, I feel for you....getting ripped off and all. Horrible how the 'Egg gouges on cpu prices these days.
    Reply
  • mohindar - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    How you can fit this processor onto socket LGA775, as mentioned in the final page... Reply
  • mohindar - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Sorry, wrong comment. Reply
  • Ben90 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    the SYS Mark 2007 Chart has the i7 920 @ 2.8 ghz... dont know if its on purpose or a typo Reply
  • MODEL3 - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    Well if it's true that Core i5 750 is going to launch at 6th of September at 196$,
    then the only option for AMD is to drop the price around what you suggested! (199$)
    Traditionally AMD official pricing translates around 5% lower (in actual street price) than Intel equivalent price
    (although in the recent years Intel had various questionable tactics like direct rebates to Retailers & to System Builders without a specific sales target - in the Europe region)

    I just hope that AMD is clever to understand, that in no way has to release a higher clocked model (975 3,6GHz, & 985 3,8GHz)
    before Intel release in Q1 2010 & in Q3 2010 the higher clocked models of i5 7XX (i5 760 2,8GHz & i5 770 2,93GHz) (if this is indeed the Intel future roadmap at 196$)

    Already some sites, that are with Intel side can easily fix the testing method, in order the Core i5 750 to appear more powerful than even a future 975 3,6GHz!

    The performance difference between Phenom II architecture & Nehalem architecture can have wide variation depending on the testing method!

    So if Intel wants, it can influence some sites to use specific methods to declare a Core i5 750 better than even a future 975 3,6GHz!

    What good will do to AMD to release a 975 at a 245$ in Q4 2009?

    Of cource AMD can price it at at 219$ (20$ difference with 965) but the whole situation is becoming depressing (they are fighting for +20$ for only a quarter until Q1 2010)

    Well, i guess they must make everything, in order to survive!
    Reply
  • GeorgeH - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - link

    "AMD ought to get rid of the Xn suffix and just use simple model numbers at this point."

    I understand what you're saying, but I think it's the most straightforward processor naming scheme in a long time. You get the architecture, cores, relative speed, and locked/unlocked instantly. Unless AMD is going to stop selling 2 and 3 core chips and never offer more than 4 cores in the consumer space, I say keep the "Xn".

    Intel could really learn from AMD here; from your writeup on ix branding, I fully expect to be needing a decoder ring to figure out what a particular i3/i5/i7 really is.
    Reply

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