TEST: AMD Phenom 9850 2.5GHz quad core processor (UK)

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Hardware udlånt af: AMD.
Skrevet af Jan den 18. Apr 2008. Testen er vist 8845 gange.
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OVERCLOCKING:
One of the more exciting features of the new AMD Phenom processor is the possibility of drawing a few more MHz from it. We are talking about a processor that has four cores integrated in the same processor.

This means quite a lot when it comes to the development of heat, and that’s why you probably need a larger processor cooler. For this test, I use something as ordinary as an almost-stock cooler. This means a cooler with an aluminum profile, but of the somewhat larger size.

The processor can be overclocked in two different ways since it is the 9850 model. The 9850 model is “multiplier unlocked” just like the AMD X2 Black Edition models, which makes it possible to explore the limits of the processor and not merely the motherboard’s. Alternatively, one could overclock the processor’s “Front Side Bus”, which quad core processors still aren’t happy about… yet.

The AMD X4 9850 processor is equipped with a 12.5 X factor which can be raised and lowered in accordance to one’s needs. With no further delay, I adjust the multiplier to X14, which overclocks roughly 300MHz (2.8GHz). Though, the processor requires 1.3V (1.25B standard) in order to be 100 percent stabile, which gives an idle temperature of 58 degrees Celsius. This is quite much and additional cooling is required, if this is supposed to be a 24/7 overclock.

THE TEST:
In connection with the test, we’ve used a Gigabyte GMA-790FX DQ6 motherboard, which we’ve already looked at in a previous review. I usually use this motherboard in connection with an AMD X2 processor which has also been used in this test. This motherboard is steady like a rock, and contains numerous ways of tweaking RAM timings etc.

First, I have to describe some of my first experiences when I installed the processor. It didn’t really go as suspected and for a period I thought that the board was TOAST, DEAD, DONE.

I begin by installing the processor and putting a quite good amount of cooling paste on the processor. I have some Arctic Silver lying around, which is perfect for this. The cooling profile is also quite easy to install, using AMD’s quite smart mounting system – and I connect cables and stuff – and start up the system. The machine boots without any trouble, but the motherboard reports that the processor is merely an AMD Quad Core 9830 processor, which is almost correct.

What to do… one of course flashes the BIOS with the latest from Gigabyte’s homepage. There, a V1.4 is found, which is so new that the link is almost unavailable. I enter the Q-Flash menu and flash the BIOS from my USB stick, and I then decide to shut down the machine.

After this, I am unable to get the system to live up. I of course try to remove power from the PSU for a couple of minutes, but nothing happens. A CMOS reset is my only choice, but there is nothing. I shut everything down and go to bed, thinking about the price of a new board *sigh*.

The day after, I try to turn on the machine, and now everything is functioning just as supposed. Yea, BIOS updates demand respect, and should only be done if really necessary. It can cost you a new board, and is performed without any guarantee from the manufacturer – there is nothing to do.

We’ve tested the AMD Phenom 9850 2.5GHz Quad Core processor using the following hardware.


AMD X4 Phenom 9850, AMD X2 5000+ BE
Gigabyte GMA790FX-DQ6
2x1Gb Kingston PC6400C5 RAM
2x320GB Western Digital
Seasonic 500Watt Power Supply


In the test, the AMD Phenom 9850 2.5GHz Quad Core processor is compared to an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+ BE processor, with 3.0 GHz as well as an Intel Core 2 E6600 @ 2.4GHz.

We’ll start with a 3DMark06 processor test:


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The 3DMark06 processor test is obviously optimized for a multi core processor environment.


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The 9850 Phenom processor manages quite well, even though it is 500MHz behind. As soon as we arrive at the multi core tests, the Phenom takes the lead.


[Click for large picture]

The processor test in SiSoft Sandra is ruthless when it comes to multi core environments.
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