AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU Review

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A Quick Peek at the CPU

 AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU Review

Prior to running the benchmarks and trying to overclock the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU, I decided to get an idea of what specifications this CPU actually has while running stock settings. Most everything shows up as expected from this processor, with one notable difference. The core voltage, the voltage at which the CPU runs, is well under spec. The Phenom II 965 is rated to run at 1.40V on the core, and CPU-Z is detecting it running at 1.36V. This could simply be some voltage drop from our test motherboard, and means that either something is odd or we’re going to have a lot of voltage headroom to overclock this CPU.

Starting Simply with SiSoftware SANDRA

I decided to start the benchmarks off with SiSoftware SANDRA. This program features a series of stress tests and benchmarks that can be used to determine if a component is functional and how well it performs. Since we’re testing processors, I focused on tests that stress that component exclusively.

amd phenom 2 965 results03 AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU Review

In the Processor Arithmetic test, the Phenom II 965 was 6% faster then the 955 in both the Dhrystone and Whetstone scores posted. This scales perfectly with the 6% speed increase given to the 965.

amd phenom 2 965 results04 AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU Review

When I moved to the Processor Multimedia tests in SANDRA, I found the same trend continued. A total of 6% separated the numbers posted by the 955 from the the numbers posted by the 965. This is good news. It does indicate that the 965 scales properly in raw performance. However I’d still like to see more real world scenario in which we can judge the value of the 965.

A Better Vantage Point

Before moving onto some rendering tests and one quick foray into gaming, I figured we should take a run through PCMark Vantage. This benchmarking suite tries to replicate real world usage patterns and applications using a series of preset scripts. You can run any number of the scripts, or all of them, and it’ll take you any number of hours to complete all the tests.

For test purposes I stuck with the main test, plus the TV and Movies and Productivity tests. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, these two suites test multimedia and office based applications respectively.

amd phenom 2 965 results01 AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition CPU Review

Surprisingly the 965 performed 16% better then the 955 in overall scoring. The TV and Movies score was 8% higher for the 965. Looking the Productivity score I start to understand the performance gap on overall scoring. This test showed a whopping 25% performance increase for the 965. I’m don’t know whether to believe it or not, as everything in my test rig is the same except for the CPU, which was simply swapped. Still the results were reproducible, so either its a bug or the CPU (which is the same core with just 200MHz of extra speed) is really that good in office apps. Hopefully the rendering tests are a little more consistent (and conclusive).

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About

His passion may have started in PC hardware, but as PC News Editor Jason Landals finds both his cutting wit and lack of shyness when a devils advocate is needed to be the best way to engage the Futurelooks audience. With knowledge and experience dating back to the PII/Celeron era he's seen a lot of technology come and go, and will gladly elaborate on how the latest and greatest has actually been a long time coming.

  • Dmm

    amd ftw

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