Phenom, Round Two
Nobody but perhaps an AMD employee could call the original Phenom a success. AMD initially struggled with their TLB (Translation Lookaside Buffer) errors which they solved with a crudely implemented BIOS patch that crippled CPU performance. Following this error, a B3 revision of Phenom was released which culminated in the 2.6GHz Phenom X4 9950. Since the Phenom X4 launch in the winter of 2007 it has been a rough journey for AMD with the only promising product coming out of their camp being their Radeon HD 4800 series graphics cards.
However, rumors started to surface a few weeks back about the powerhouse that AMD was working up in their labs. With claims of no cold bug, enhanced cache size and performance, and 3GHz launch frequencies, it was not surprising that a few of us were getting antsy. Prior to the Phenom launch we heard very similar yet astounding comments leaking from AMD insiders. So, with a Phenom II X4 940 sitting on my desk, how do these claims stack up?
First off, there is indeed no cold bug and these things just crave cold temperatures albeit with one caveat that will be discussed later. Second, there is no TLB issue resulting in castrated L3 cache so everything is shipshape with the circuits. And last, those 3GHz launch speeds? Very true, and judging from my sample, AMD should be able to release a 3.2GHz or faster Phenom II soon enough.