AMD ups the clock to 3.7GHz

Welcome the new Phenom II X4 980 Black

AMD Fusion LogoAMD (NYSE:AMD) just launched a speed bumped quad core CPU, the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition to be more formal than usual. If you were waiting for that extra 100MHz bump for your AMD quad core, your dream CPU has arrived.

OK, both of those people should get back on their meds ASAP, but that doesn’t make the CPU any less of a good thing. What you get is a slight speed boost from the 975, from 3.6 to 3.7GHz, for the same $185 MSRP as the old chip. Basically, everything moved down a notch in the X4 Black price lineup, you can see it all here.

Depending on what you do, this may or may not be a better choice than the X6 lineup. Higher clock speeds are never bad, especially for software that does not thread well, like most games. If you have something that uses lots of threads, you can get a 3.2GHz 6-core 1090T for the same money. As an added bonus, the X6 line also has ‘turbo’ while the X4 doesn’t, and that could cancel out most of the raw clock disparity. If AMD ever drops an X4 with turbo on the world, the choice will be clear, but that will have to wait about a month or so. Ask again after Computex, the answer might just change a lot.

In the end, the more things change, he more things stay the same. As of today, you get 100MHz more for the same cost and the same power use. Everything else gets cheaper too. If you have an AM2+ or AM3 board looking for an upgrade, this isn’t a bad choice, especially if you are a gamer. If you don’t have a PC, this probably isn’t a reason to run out and get one, it is just a little better than you could get yesterday.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate