AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Processor Review

[ad#review966-top]In March 2008, AMD released the Phenom X4, as “the world’s first true quad-core processor”. Despite pre-release problems, the Phenom X4 Agena core, with a 64Kb + 64Kb L1 Cache, 512Kb L2 Cache, and 2MB L3 Cache, on die memory controller, and 65nm process, wasn’t a bad CPU. It did lack the speed and power of the Core 2 Duo, but was at a lower price point, and was definitely an upgrade from the Athlon X2.

Today I will be looking at the next generation of Phenom, the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition. AMD has added some “umph” to the X4 to give it some more processing power. Will the X4 940 show up my first generation 9950 X4, the last of its generation? Read on to see!


Model: AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition
Model Number: HDZ940XCGIBOX
Socket: AM2+
Core Speed: 3.0gHz
System Bus Speed: 3.6gHz
VCore: 0.875-1.5V
Wattage: 125 W
L1 Cache: 4 x 128K
L2 Cache: 4 x 512K
L3 Cache: 6MB
Manufacturing Process: 45nm

A Closer Look

This is the Phenom that AMD lovers have long awaited. The earlier Phenoms were a little disappointing, as AMD had some problems getting the 45nm process online. It’s here now though, allowing for a larger L3 Cache to handle larger loads.

The Phenom II X4 940 is clocked at 3.0 gigs, and a bus speed of 3.6 gigs. A new generation of HyperTransport allows for greatly increased bus bandwidth, up to 17.1GB/s of DDR2 memory bandwidth, and up to 16GB/s data bandwidth.

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Processor AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Processor

AMD’s latest Cool `n’ Quiet 3.0 and their CoolCore technology work together to allow the 940 to shut down parts of the CPU when not in use, keeping the CPU cooler and saving energy. Of course, the X4 940 utilizes AMD’s excellent integrated memory controller, eliminating the need for an external controller in the NB.

The Phenom II X4 940 utilizes the AM2+ platform, and will drop right into any AM2+ motherboard, though a BIOS update will likely be needed to fully recognize the processor.

As with all retail CPUs, the stock cooler will get you by, but not recommended for a rig that gets heavy use such as gaming, and overclockers will definitely need a high performance aftermarket cooler.

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Processor AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Processor