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AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition
by Marc Prieur
Published on June 23, 2009

At last! After having launched its first Phenom II AM2+ in January, then the AM3 versions in February, AMD is finally bringing out some AM3 versions that are clocked as high and higher than the AM2+.

To recap, at the launch of the Phenom II in January, two models were brought out:

- Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition (3.0 GHz, 6 MB of L3)
- Phenom II X4 920 (2.8 GHz, 6 MB of L3)

Then in February, AMD launched 5 new AM3 versions :
- Phenom II X4 810 (2.6 GHz, 4 MB of L3)
- Phenom II X4 805 (2.5 GHz, 4 MB of L3)
- Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (2.8 GHz, 6 MB of L3)
- Phenom II X3 710 (2.6 GHz, 6 MB of L3)

These versions were then slower than the AM2s, especially as the 910 model was reserved for OEM, like the 805. Two new Phenom II AM3s have just been added to the range:

- Phenom II X4 955 (3.2 GHz, 6 MB of L3)
- Phenom II X4 945 (3.0 GHz, 6 MB of L3)

The memory controller of these two Phenom II X4s is at 2 GHz, against 1.8 GHz on the Phenom II X4 AM2+. This is a return to normal in a way as the memory controller clock is the same as the first Phenoms.

In line with AMD’s backwards compatability policy, the Phenom II AM3s work on both an AM3 motherboard with DDR3 and an AM2+ motherboard with DDR2. The gains brought by DDR3 are relatively slight, as shown by the performances obtained in WinRAR compression software and the game World In Conflict:

DDR3-1066 has a lower level of performance than DDR2-800, and DDR3-1333 does not outperform it in all cases. Officially, these Phenom IIs only support DDR3-1333 with 2 modules and DDR3-1066 with 4 modules. With DDR3-1600, performances are always in front of DDR2-800 whatever the timings, but there is nothing amazing about the gains.

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