AMD launches 3.4-GHz Phenom II X4 965 CPU, fastest yet (again)

The newest version of AMD's Phenom II processor won't cost you a penny extra over what you'd currently pay for the company's top-of-the-line CPU

Here we go again.

On the plus side, the newest version of AMD's Phenom II processor won't cost you a penny extra over what you'd currently pay for the company's top-of-the-line CPU, the US$245, 3.2-GHz Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition processor. Consider the company's newest and fastest-ever CPU a free upgrade of-sorts--if you ignore the slight drop in price that will undoubtedly hit all Phenom II processors once this new Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition processor hits the market.

If you're a little off put by the slight variance in numbers between AMD's two top chips, that's understandable. The two processors are nearly identical in form and function. Both CPUs contain the same amounts of cache, the same compatibility for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory types, and the same unlocked multiplier that can lead to substantial overclocks, amongst other attributes. Test systems have been able to push the new processor up to 4.6 GHz with third-party air cooling; AMD itself claims that the chip can go further, on average, than its 955-edition brother.

For the general user, however, the actual benefits delivered by the extra 0.2 GHz over the 955-edition processor's speed will remain almost imperceptible. That's only a six percent increase in CPU frequency, after all.

PC World swapped the two processors in and out on an identical system setup and ran its WorldBench 6 suite of benchmarks. The results revealed a meager 3.5-percent increase in overall general performance. Gaming performance remained virtually unchanged on the 2560 by 1600, high-quality benchmark runs of both Unreal Tournament 3 and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Running the titles at a resolution of 1024 by 768 delivered a difference of around four to five frames-per-second.

One can't help but wonder if AMD is trying to nail as much performance onto its processor lineup as it can before the storm that is Intel's Core i5 lineup hits shores. Extreme overclocking aside, the Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition doesn't reinvent the wheel--it just adds a little polish.

Geek Tech's David Murphy (@acererak) has run out of metaphors. Hit him up on Twitter for fresh tech insight and the occasional funny cat picture.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags AMDpc components

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

David Murphy

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?