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jmke 11th April 2008 11:02

AMD Phenom X4 9850, 9750 and 9550
Those into massive multi-tasking or highly threaded applications will benefit the most from a quad-core processor, but even with AMD's massive steps forwards, we still feel the Q6600 is the slightly better purchase, regardless of the small £10 price difference. Both can be overclocked, but the Phenom X4s are much hotter and less tolerant to heat in comparison. At just over 60˚C our Phenom at 2.8GHz was stable, but at just under 70˚C it locked up.

If you can keep it cool then it should really work for you, however even with an expensive, large and very capable ZeroTherm cooler we still couldn't keep it cool at a quite reasonable 1.45V. Admittedly 65nm Core 2 Quads are hot runners at high voltage too, but they seem to be more tolerant of higher temperatures and the Intel 65nm process seems to leak less current.

What AMD is missing is a K10 dual core – its mainstream 65nm parts are being revamped, but slowly, and they are still based on the old K8 core so Intel is leaving them far, far behind. I don't understand it – why push a new process technology onto the most complex parts first? Why aren't we seeing new, lower wattage, high clocked dual-core processors?

Regardless of that, AMD Enthusiasts should have some fun with the Phenom X4 9850 Black Edition and it’s good to see AMD “back in the game.” Hopefully with some elaborate watercooling or phase change setups (pictures in the forums, please!) we should see some pretty awesome overclocking endeavours, and what’s more, for around £150 it's something most of you can afford to enjoy.

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