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AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Review

Rating: 6.5.

Today we are looking at the new high end quad core processor from AMD. The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is the new performance oriented, 4 core multiplier unlocked processor set to replace the 975 Black Edition at the top of their quad core lineup. The big question is … with competitively priced six core AMD processors, is there any room now for AMD quad core editions?

Let’s cut straight to the chase, AMD have struggled to keep up with Intel in recent months, as their Core i3, i5 and i7 processors continue to dominate the performance charts. Thankfully Bulldozer is just around the corner and offers much improved levels of performance for the AMD buying audience.

I make no bones about it, I am a big fan of the six core AMD designs, the 1100T is a great processor which can handle gaming and 3D rendering with ease, and the lower cost 1055T is still one of the best value for money solutions on the market. I have to admit, when I hear that AMD is releasing a new quad core ‘clock bumped’ processor based on current technology, I can’t help but take pause for thought.

Why? Well my reasoning seems logical to me. If you have a six core processor design such as the 1055T retailing for £130 do we really need a 975 Black Edition with less cores, retailing at £20 more? Sure, the ‘unlocked’ 975 might overclock to 4.2ghz+ easy enough, but the ‘locked’ 1055T can get very close to this with the right cooler. My views are simple, six cores is better than four (especially for less money). The clock boost needed for a quad core to be truly competitive just isn’t often practical.

The Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition is basically the same as the Phenom X4 975 Black Edition, but its 100mhz faster. Exciting? No, not at all, but let’s have a look.

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