AMD’s Phenom II X6 1090T tested early

Black Edition gets put through its paces

WE’LL FORGIVE YOU if you don’t know who Coolaler is, but as the story goes, he’s one of the best overclockers in the world. He also has a very active website and forum in his home country of Taiwan and from time to time benchmarks of unreleased hardware end up there. This time around one of the forum members has posted benchmarks of AMD’s Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition.

The good news is that this new, soon to launch top of the range CPU from AMD performs quite well. However, it doesn’t perform not well enough to be a serious threat to Intel. The person who tested the CPU goes under the alias of eLove and appears to be a fairly active forum member, but the problem is that he or she has run a mishmash of benchmarks on the CPU with varying results. Some of the benchmark choices and results appear to be slightly peculiar as well and we haven’t even heard of some of the benchmarks.

We’re also slightly concerned with the test platform, as an MSI 790GX-G65 motherboard was used. There’s nothing wrong with this board as such, but the person who tested the CPU decided to use the IGP of the chipset which will cause a slight overall system performance degradation. It seems odd to test a high-end CPU using the motherboard IGP and the CPU was also tested using two mismatched sets of DDR3 1333MHz memory, which some purists might frown upon. Rather impressively, the PSU used was a meagre 300W unit which shows that if you don’t have a high-end graphics card in your system, you don’t need a very powerful PSU.

So what about the results? Well, let’s start with Cinebench 11.5. Here it’s easy to see where the 1090T ends up, as Maxon has added little graphs in the latest release of its benchmark that give you an indication of where the CPU ends up compared to the competition. At 5.29 points the six cores of AMD’s new six core CPU are just marginally faster than an Intel Core i7 860 which scores 5.06. It also places it marginally slower than a Core i7 960 which scores 5.48 points. Considering that the 1090T is clocked at the same 3.2GHz as the Core i7 960 and the fact that Cinebench sees all six cores, this isn’t a terribly impressive result, although it’s worth noting the benchmark was run in 32-bit mode, which might have had a slight effect on the results.

In Cinebench 10 we’re looking at a CPU score of 14,381, which puts it at the same performance level as a Core 2 Extreme QX9770, but not even close to any of Intel’s Core i7 900-series CPUs, which all score 15,000 points or higher. The single core score of 2,920 puts it at pretty much exactly the same performance as the Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition, which is even more disappointing. So not a good start, but we would expect slightly better performance using a different test setup with a graphics card.

The CPU score in good old 3DMark 06 came to 5,673 points, which is slightly ahead of Intel’s Core i7 965 Extreme Edition, a much more impressive result. In 3DMark Vantage we’re looking at a CPU score of 16,430, which is slightly slower than a Core i7 920. A 1M Super Pi score of 21.435 seconds is also not very impressive, but as this is a highly frequency dependant benchmark, we’ll give AMD a break here. As to the rest of the benchmarks, we suggest you take a look for yourself, and you can find them here.

It’s way too early to draw any final conclusions, but it seems like two more cores won’t win AMD many benchmark trophies. We’re by no means saying this is a terrible processor, but with the way most software works, having more cores isn’t the solution, at least not until we see much better threaded applications that can take advantage of the extra cores. Pricing for the 1090T and it’s more affordable sibling, the 1055T have leaked thanks to a Danish website called butik.dk (butik means store in Danish) and it looks like the 1090T is set to retail for about $416 in Denmark, while the 1055T will be a fair bit cheaper at $288. For a similar amount of money as you’d pay for the 1090T, assuming that the price is correct, you’d only end up getting a Core i7 930 or Core i7 860 in Denmark. If the leaked prices are indeed correct, then AMD should still find plenty of homes for its new hexa-core CPUs.S|A

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