AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition Processor Review

Conclusions

[ad#review966-top]Again, the testing results were expected, with good results from the Phenom 9950, better results from the Phenom 940 at stock clock, and the best from the 940 at overclock.

As I had hoped and expected, the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition is a definite improvement over its immediate predecessor, the Phenom X4 9950. For the AMD fan, the Phenom II 940 is a drop-in upgrade for any of the earlier Phenoms, and definitely a worthwhile upgrade from the earliest models, though maybe not as much for the 9950 unless you are recycling it into another rig or selling it to recoup some of the cost originally paid for it. The 940 is definitely a consideration for building a new AMD rig. It performs well, and I easily got a 25% overclock, giving a significant performance boost.

The Phenom is beginning to come into its own, the X4 940 is definitely a strong performer. Being honest about it, the Phenom still has some ground to cover to be able to catch up with the last Core 2 Quad models, but I’m glad to see AMD is still out there building new processors and holding their own. Their time will come again.

Just last week, AMD released the latest crop of Phenoms, the Phenom II AM3s, running DDR3 memory. Looking at the specs, without knowing for sure, it appears that these latest processors are AM3 versions of the latest few Phenoms built with 45nm process, and the top end version, the Phenom II 955, is the X4 940 on an AM3 platform with a 3.2gHz clock. Using 45nm, the AM3 versions of 65nm AM2s have larger L3 cache, so they aren’t merely warmed over AM2+ processors, you can expect to see greater bus bandwidth and the ability to handle greater workloads.

Which makes it a rather tough decision for those wanting to build a new AMD rig, do you go with AM2+ or AM3? High performance DDR2 memory is dirt cheap, but DDR3 is too. And to make it even more complicated, there are some motherboards that will run either AM2+ or AM3 processors, running DDR2 memory.

Regardless of what you choose, I definitely recommend the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition if your building decision goes in the AM2+ direction. At $189.99 at my favorite online retailer, it is definitely the bang-for-the-buck Phenom. ThinkComputers gives the AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition CPU a 10 out of 10 score.

Pros:

– Definite upgrade for all earlier AM2/AM2+ processors
– Top choice for building a new AMD DDR2 rig
– Overclocked well
– Priced right

Cons:

– With the release of AM3, it’s a hard decision whether to build AM2+ or AM3

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