AMD Announces the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition at 3.7GHz

Posted by at 12:41 am on May 3, 2011

AMD has unveiled their fastest quad-core Phenom processor, the Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition, which runs at 3.7GHz with 6MB of L3 cache. The processor is sold unlocked, meaning gamers and hobbyists can overclock and otherwise optimize total system performance, particularly when paired with the company’s 8-series chipset and Radeon HD 6000 series graphic cards. The chip is specifically designed for gamers and for HDTV and other forms of high-definition entertainment, including 3D graphics.

The Phenom series scale performance to conserve PC power using HyperTransport technology and feature enhanced virus protection. The quad-core X4 980 features a thermal design point (TDP) of 125 watts, surprising given the significantly higher clock speed compared to other Deneb-die processors like its predecessor, the X4 975. The chip includes AMD’s Vision Black technology for immersive video, with full support for Microsoft DirectX 11.

Despite the higher frequency, most early reviews rate the chip slightly below Intel’s latest “Sandy Bridge” offerings, usually comparing it directly to a mid-range Core i5. While AMD’s website has not yet been updated for the new chip at the time of this posting, pricing on it has been set at $195.

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