KitGuru reviewed the II X4 980 Black Edition this week, and one of the negative comments was the current pricing, which was set to be around the £150 mark in the UK.
Zardon said “The Phenom II X4 range is hampered from the start, because AMD, core for core just can’t compete with the latest Intel Core i5 or i7 designs. Our testing shows that even with a substantial overclock, the 980 BE fails to compete with Intel’s Core i5 2500k. As they are priced so closely around the £150 mark, it is important that the AMD processor can offer a close run matchup. Sadly, no matter how we try and spin it, the 980BE falls short of the mark.
While the Core i5 2500k dominates the £150 benchmark results, we also need to look within AMD’s own ranks for competing products. Currently the 6 core 1055T can be bought for £135 in the UK, which is noticeably less than the unlocked 4 core 980BE. AMD may claim that the extra money is due to the ‘Black Edition’ status, but strangely enough the AMD 1090T which is also a Black Edition, with 6 cores can be picked up for £150. Why would you want a 4 core unlocked processor for the same price as a 6 core unlocked processor from the same company?”
We heard from AMD this morning that they have dropped the pricing of this product by $10 to $185, which should translate to around a £7 price drop in the United Kingdom.
Is this enough to make the X4 980 Black Edition a truly competitive product in today’s market? Unfortunately we don’t think its quite there yet, as it would need to be £100 in the UK to be a viable choice, especially when compared against the low prices of AMD’s six core designs such as the 1055t and 1090t which are £130 and £150 respectively. The UK price for the X4 980 Black Edition has yet to be confirmed, but if it is set to replace the 975 Black Edition at £150 inc vat then even with the price drop it should be around £140 (best case scenario).
In our opinion you are better saving £10, and opting for the 1055T and overclocking it to 3.8ghz (easy), or spending £10 more and opting for the 1090t which will hit 4ghz+ with a modest air cooler. Six cores is better than four. Obviously Intel have a strong competitor at the £160 price point in the shape of the Core i5 2500k, which outperforms any of the AMD solutions in the same price zone.
KitGuru says: We still recommend the 6 core AMD designs.