AMD Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition Review

Author: Carl Poirier
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/amd_phenom_ii_1100t_be/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

 

AMD goes one step further with its Thuban die. The flagship Phenom II X6 processor now runs at a nice 3.3GHz; still keeping its 125W thermal envelope, the hexa-core runs 100MHz faster. That is a full 3.3GHz on all six cores, or 3.7GHz across three of them when Turbo Core is activated. That is only 200MHz slower than the quad-core die  in the form of the Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition.

Two other interesting subjects launching today are the Phenom II X2 565 Black Edition, a 3.4GHz unlocked dual-core, and the Athlon II X3 455, a 3.3GHz tri-core. However, only the hexa-core will be analyzed today.

So how will the X6 1100T Black Edition perform? Theoretically, it should score one notch further than its predecessor. Will it be better at overclocking, though? If one remembers the article on the latest Deneb, an optimization of the manufacturing process allowed for almost 200MHz more clock speed to squeezed out. However, according to the information written on the heatspreader, there is nothing new with today's subject, as both it and its predecessor are labeled as "ACBBE":

 

Specifications:

Model Number & Core Frequency X6 1100T = 3.3GHz
TRAY OPN# HDE00ZFBK6DGR
L1 Cache Sizes 64KB of L1 instruction and 64KB of L1 data cache per core (768KB total L1 per processor)
L2 Cache Sizes 512KB of L2 data cache per core (3MB total L2 per processor)
L3 Cache size 6MB (Shared)
Memory Controller Type Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller
Memory Controller Speed Up to 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
Types of Memory Supported Unregistered DIMMs up to PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066MHz) -AND- PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333MHz)
HyperTransport 3.0 Specification One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4.0GHz full duplex (2.0GHz x2)
Total Processor-to-System Bandwidth Up to 37.3GB/s total bandwidth [Up to 21.3 GB/s memory bandwidth (DDR3-1333) 16.0GB/s (HT3)] Up to 33.1GB/s total bandwidth [Up to 17.1 GB/s memory bandwidth (DDR2-1066) 16.0GB/s (HT3)]
Packaging Socket AM3 938-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA)
Fab location GLOBALFOUNDARIES Fab 1 module 1 in Dresden, Germany
Process Technology 45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology
Approximate Die Size 346 mm²
Approximate Transistor count ~904 million
Max TDP 125 Watts
AMD Codename: "Thuban"

 

Pricing

As in all recent reviews of AMD products, it is pertinent to make a price comparison table of the current processor offerings. One should consider that motherboards featuring the AM3 socket can be had for much cheaper than their Intel counterparts though, thus increasing the price difference even more. 

AMD
Intel
Processor name Frequency TDP Price Processor name Frequency TDP Price
        Core i7-980X EE 3.33GHz 130W $950
        Core i7-970 3.20GHz 130W $880
        Core i7-960 3.20GHz 130W $580
        Core i7-950 3.06GHz 130W $570
        Core i7-875K 2.93GHz 95W $330
        Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.00GHz 95W $330
        Core i5-680 3.60GHz 73W $310
        Core i5-670 3.46GHz 73W $300
        Core 2 Duo E8600 3.33GHz 65W $290
        Core i7-870 2.93GHz 95W $285
        Core i7-950 3.06GHz 130W $280
        Core i7-930 2.80GHz 130W $280
        Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz 95W $275
Phenom II X6 1100T BE 3.3GHz 125W $265        
        Core 2 Quad Q9505 2.83GHz 95W $240
Phenom II X6 1090T BE 3.2GHz 125W $229        
        Core i5-661 3.33GHz 87W $210
        Core i5-760 2.80GHz 95W $209
        Core i5-660 3.33GHz 73W $208
Phenom II X6 1075T 3.0GHz 125W $200 Core i5-655K 3.20GHz 73W $200
        Core i5-750 2.66GHz 95W $200
        Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz 65W $195
Phenom II X4 970 BE 3.5GHz 125W $180 Core i5-650 3.20GHz 73W $180
Phenom II X6 1055T 2.8Ghz 125W $179        
        Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.66Ghz 95W $170
        Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00GHz 65W $168
Phenom II X4 965 BE 3.4GHz 125W $160        
        Core i3-560 3.33GHz 73W $150
        Core 2 Duo E7600 3.06GHz 65W $150
        Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.50GHz 95W $150
Phenom II X4 955 BE 3.2GHz 125W $145        
Phenom II X4 945 3.0GHz 95W $136        
Phenom II X4 925 2.8GHz 95W $130 Core i3-550 3.20GHz 73W $130
        Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz 65W $125
Athlon II X4 645 3.0GHz 95W $118        
Phenom II X2 565 3.4GHz 80W $115        
        Core i3-540 3.06GHz 73W $105
Phenom II X2 560 BE 3.3GHz 80W $100 Core i3-530 2.93GHz 73W $100
Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz 95W $100 Pentium G6950 2.80GHz 73W $100
        Pentium E6800 3.33GHz 65W $100
Athlon II X4 635 2.9GHz 95W $99        
Phenom II X2 555 BE 3.2GHz 80W $90        
Athlon II X3 455 3.3GHz 95W $87 Pentium E6700 3.20GHz 65W $87
        Pentium E6600 3.06GHz 65W $87
        Pentium E6500 2.93GHz 65W $80
        Pentium E5700 3.00GHz 65W $80
Athlon II X3 450 3.2GHz 95W $79        
Athlon II X2 265 3.3GHz 65W $75        
Athlon II X3 445 3.0GHz 95W $74        
        Pentium E5400 2.70GHz 65W $70
        Pentium E5500 2.8GHz 65W $70
Athlon II X2 260 3.2GHz 65W $68        
Athlon II X2 255 3.1GHz 65W $63 Pentium E3500 2.70GHz 65W $63
Athlon II X2 250 3.0GHz 65W $59        
Athlon II X2 245 2.9GHz 65W $58        
        Celeron E3400 2.6GHz 65W $54
        Celeron E3300 2.50GHz 65W $52
        Celeron 430 1.80GHz 35W $42
Sempron 145 2.8GHz 45W $37        
Sempron 140 2.7GHz 45W $33        

 

The first thing that one will notice is that the Phenom II X6 processors are now much cheaper than at launch. The 1090T can now be had for $229 instead of the original $295. The new X6 1100T, at $265, competes against the cheapest Nehalem quad-cores in the form of the Intel Core i7-950 and i7-870.  In fact, Intel does not offer any quad-cores based on its latest architecture below a steep $280! That means the cheaper Phenom II X6s and X4s get to go head-to-head with the i5s. It is true that these dual-cores offer a better performance per core, but as soon as the application can exploit many threads, they bite the dust.

In the lower end spectrum of the table, one will notice that the Athlons are now much faster than at the beginning; it looks like the X4 620 up to the X4 630 got phased out, leaving the 2.9GHz X4 635 at the $99 price mark. As for the dual cores, the Athlon II X2 240 isn't available anymore. Since a long time, it just did not make sense to go with a Pentium or Core 2 CPU.

Test Setup

AMD Phenom II "Thuban" (Socket AM3)

  • AMD Phenom II X6 1100T processor
  • ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 motherboard
  • XFX Radeon HD 5870 videocard
  • Seagate 750GB 7200.11 hard drive
  • Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply
  • 2x2GB Mushkin DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24-1T memory

 

Comparison Setups

AMD Phenom II "Thuban" (Socket AM3)

  • AMD Phenom II X6 1090T & 1075T processor
  • ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 motherboard
  • XFX Radeon HD 5870 videocard
  • Seagate 750GB 7200.11 hard drive
  • Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply
  • 2x2GB Mushkin DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24-1T memory

AMD Phenom II "Deneb" (Socket AM3)

  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 & 970 processor
  • ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 motherboard
  • XFX Radeon HD 5870 videocard
  • Seagate 750GB 7200.11 hard drive
  • Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply
  • 2x2GB Mushkin DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24-1T memory

Intel Core i7 "Bloomfield" (Socket 1366)

  • Intel Core i7-920 processor
  • MSI X58M motherboard
  • XFX Radeon HD 5870 videocard
  • Seagate 750GB 7200.11 hard drive
  • Mushkin XP-800AP Power Supply
  • 3x2GB Mushkin DDR3-1600 6-8-6-24-1T memory

 

Benchmarks

  • SiSoft Sandra Professional
  • 7-Zip
  • PCMark Vantage
  • Handbrake
  • POV-Ray
  • Cinebench
  • Call of Juarez
  • World in Conflict
  • Lost Planet
  • Far Cry 2
  • Bioshock
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Colin McRae DiRT 2

 

Overclocking the Phenom II X6 1100T is done exactly the same way as all unlocked AMD processors. First, the multiplier was increased to find the approximate turning point of stability. Then, the baseclock is adjusted more precisely. The same process is done for the integrated memory controller and HT link, and after that it is just a matter of combining both overclocks together.

  • Baseclock of 209MHz, resulting in 209.7MHz
  • CPU multiplier of x20, for a clock of 4194MHz
  • HT multiplier of x13, for a clock of 2726MHz
  • NB multiplier of x13, for a clock of 2726MHz (There seems to be a reading error in the screenshot below)
  • CPU voltage of 1.475V
  • CPU-NB voltage of 1.28125V

All the overclocks are represented in the following graph.

One can see that the 1100T did a tad better than its predecessor, although the voltages were increased a bit more generously. It also did on the integrated memory controller.

 

This program includes benchmarks for most hardware. The CPU arithmetic and multi-core efficiency benchmark will be run as well as memory bandwidth and latency.

As expected, the Phenom II X6 1100T is a tad faster than the previous flagship in the arithmetic test, beating the Core i7-920 by a small margin. All the remaining test results do not scale much with the core frequency.

HandBrake is an application that converts sound and video files to other formats. It makes use of the many available processing threads in multi-core CPUs so it can exploit the processor to its full potential.

POV-Ray, for Persistence of Vision Raytracer, is a 3D rendering software that has impressive photo-realistic capabilities.

Both benchmarks lead to the same rankings; all three hexa-cores are at the top, followed by the much lower ranking Core i7-920, and finally the Denebs. Overclocking just increases the 1100T's lead.

 

7-Zip is a compression program, much like WinRAR. It features a built-in test, which gives a score for compression and decompression.

Cinebench 11.5 is another rendering program supporting an insane amount of threads. The image is processed by chunks, each running on a particular thread.

Now this makes my life easy; the leaderboard of these two benchmarks is the exact same as on the previous page.

 

PCMark is strongly similar to the 3DMark suite from FutureMark, except for the fact that it includes many other tests like hard drive speed, memory and processor power, so it is considered as a system benchmark and not just a gaming benchmark.

Lost Planet is a game developed by Capcom. It features a built-in benchmark which will be run at the lowest settings like the previous ones, including a resolution of 800x600. It has two different runs; one takes place in a cave whereas the other one is in a snow landscape.

Lost Planet does not showcase any advantage of having a processor 100MHz faster. In fact, the 1100T scores pretty much the same as the 1090T. What is odd though is that the faster quad-cores yield better results, followed by the Intel Core i7-920. The 1100T of course exceeds them all when overclocked. In Lost Planet, it ranks just above the 1090T but it still cannot beat the Core i7-920 which is unbelievably good in the "Cave" test.

 

The demo of these two gaming benchmarks can be downloaded for free. Call of Juarez is made by Ubisoft whereas the World in Conflict game is developed by Massive Entertainment. They will be run at the lowest settings possible so the score is not GPU-bound, so that entails a resolution of 1024x768 pixels for Call of Juarez and 800x600 for World in Conflict. This way, the true processor power will be exhibited.

The Core i7-920 remains untouched in both benchmarks. World in Conflict does not favor the extra 100MHz, but Call of Juarez does.

 

Crysis Warhead is a standalone expansion pack of the original Crysis, which at the time of its release was well known for requiring the most powerful hardware to play at maxed settings. Warhead uses an enhanced version of the Crytek engine.

Bioshock is a creepy first person shooter. It is the oldest of the games in Neoseeker's benchmarking suite, hence the high FPS scores.

Both games order the processors in function of their frequency, except the little inconsistency in Bioshock between the Denebs. Overclocking of course places the 1100T at the top.

 

Far Cry 2 is another first person shooter that has been developed by Ubisoft. The story takes place in Africa, where the ultimate goal is to assassinate an arms dealer.

DiRT 2 is the most recent driving game in the Colin McRae series. It features a built-in benchmark consisting of displaying a race of computer players using the same view as the gamer would.

In Far Cry 2, all Phenom IIs were ranked by their frequency. The Core i7-920 outranked most but the overclocked 1100T. Colin McRae DiRT 2 does not really leverage the increased core clock frequency, outside of putting Intel's offering at the complete bottom that is.

 

Power Consumption

The extra 100MHz does not seem to affect the power consumption much; a mere 2 watts difference was observed under load.

 

Conclusion

It's really nice to see the Phenom II X6s at such low prices. The 1075T, at a round 3GHz and selling for $200, is a real killer. If one wants better overclocking and an unlocked multiplier, the 1090T isn't much more expensive at $229. The step up to the 1100T is a bit steeper though, as it's retailing for $265. Whether the extra $35 is worth it or not is a personal opinion.

For that price, one gets a 100MHz higher stock frequency without a serious leap in the power consumption, and they'll get slightly better overclocking over the side. The increase in frequency made a little difference in most benchmarks compared to the 1090T, but nothing earth-shattering. The ranking of the Thuban die against the comparison processors does not really change, but without any doubt it will help against the newer socket 1366 locked processors, such as the Intel Core i7-930 and 950.

The award is geared more toward the price drops, especially on the two slower-clocked Thubans as opposed to the 1100T itself that was tested in this article. The extra $35 might be a bit steep for what the 1100T has to offer over the 1090T, after all.

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