AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and X2 560 Black Edition Review

Summer is sadly coming to an end. Well, sad for some people. I, for one, welcome the cooler weather of Fall and Winter. I am what you'd call "anti-heat". Fall means that I can get out and play a full 18 holes without sweating my tail off. The cooler weather also means I can save a bundle on my electricity bill, as I don't need the AC running 24/7. This year, the weather switched like a light. As soon as September 1st hit, the temps went from 80/90s to 60/70s. It was fast and sudden. If you follow the meteorological calendar, Fall starts on September 1st and not the 22nd/23rd, as the regular astronomical calendar says.

amdpii

 

There is another wacky calendar that most normal people don't follow. This would be the fiscal year that businesses use. Depending on local laws and regulations, fiscal years can vary and not follow a regular January to December calendar year. However, this is the time frame that businesses use to release products and calculate earnings and is typically split into fiscal quarters. Right now, our fourth quarter in the US is about to come to an end on September 30th. Manufacturers are wrapping up their last releases for this tax year and about to make a push for the holiday season. Which means, new products, dropped prices to diminish current inventory and savings galore for us consumers. AMD is giving us some last treats before the end of this quarter.

 

These treats are the AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition. The Phenom II X6 1075T and X2 560BE are the next releases in AMD's Phenom line of processors. The 1075T is supposed to be the middle man to the 1055T and 1090T six core processors. The 1075T sports a 3.0GHz base clock and a Turbo CORE speed of 3.5GHz. The 560BE is the next step up in their Black Edition, dual core line. The 560 has a 3.3GHz base clock and the Black Edition label, meaning the multiplier is unlocked, allowing for easy overclocking. Both contain all of the Phenom goodies, such as 6MB of L3 cache.

 

 

<hrdata-mce-alt="Technologies(AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and X2 560 Black Edition)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Technologies(AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and X2 560 Black Edition)" />

Technologies(AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and X2 560 Black Edition)

Technologies

The Progression of the Athlon II

The Phenom die structure allowed for L3 cache to be integrated into the CPU die for quicker data processing performance. This gave a performance boost over the Athlon chips but came with the higher cost of producing the larger chip die to accommodate the L3 cache. The Athlon die was updated to the newer AM3 socket with the same architecture as the Phenom IIs to allow growth within the new Athlon II series, as well. This update came at an important time in the progression to DDR3 memory, as the prices on RAM are coming down.

620die

Now that the Athlon II has been born with the introduction of the 250, the family is seeing a first for the AMD line of processors. The Athlon II family has held the economical standing for AMD by featuring low costs in die production by not including the L3 cache, giving the edge in the lower mainstream and budget markets to the powerful yet economical AMD Athlon family.

We are now seeing the next launch of the Athlon II line of processors. With this next line of processors, AMD is increasing the speed by 100MHz. This will drive down the existing model's prices and create a new line of affordable processors. The processors will remain AM3/AM2+ compatible and make a perfect match for all of the recently released 800-series chipsets. These new Athlons are also made with revision "C3" silicon. Here is their new list of processors and pricing scheme.

  • 3.5GHz (3.0GHz base)    Phenom II  X6 1075T                     ~$245*
  • 3.5GHz                  Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition  ~$185*
  • 3.3GHz                  Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition  ~$105*
  • 3.1GHz                  Athlon II X4 645                        ~$122*
  • 3.2GHz                  Athlon II X3 450                        ~$87*
  • 3.3GHz                  Athlon II X2 265                        ~$76*

*  Retail pricing estimate in U.S. dollars

       

      AMD Phenom™ II X6 Six-Core Processors

      The backbone of the VISION Black technology platform, the new AMD Phenom™ II X6 six-core processors are the fastest CPUs AMD has ever created. The AMD Phenom™ II X6 six-core processors are also the world's only six-core processors for under $300*. At the heart of a VISION Black Technology platform, the AMD Phenom II X6 processor is the most advanced AMD desktop processor and features innovative AMD Turbo CORE technology to adjust to the dynamic needs of performance users.

      AMD Turbo CORE Technology

      The AMD Phenom™ II X6 1055T, 1075T, and 1090T come equipped with AMD's new Turbo CORE technology. AMD Turbo CORE technology is a performance boosting technology that automatically switches from six cores to three turbocharged cores for applications that just need raw speed over multiple cores. While in Turbo CORE mode, the AMD Phenom™ II X6 1090T shifts frequency speed from 3.2GHz on six cores, to 3.6GHz on three cores, making it the fastest processor AMD has ever created.

      AMD64 with Direct Connect Architecture

      • Helps improve system performance and efficiency by directly connecting the processors, the memory controller, and the I/O to the CPU.
      • Designed to enable simultaneous 32- and 64-bit computing
      • Integrated Memory Controller
        • Benefits: Increases application performance by dramatically reducing memory latency
        • Scales memory bandwidth and performance to match compute needs
        • HyperTransport™ Technology provides up to 16.0GB/s peak bandwidth per processor—reducing I/O bottlenecks
        • Up to 37GB/s total delivered processor-to-system bandwidth (HyperTransport bus + memory bus)

      AMD Balanced Smart Cache

      • Shared L3 cache (either 6MB or 4MB)
      • 512K L2 cache per core
        • Benefit: Shortened access times to the highly accessed data for better performance.

      AMD Wide Floating Point Accelerator

      • 128-bit floating point unit (FPU)
      • High performance (128bit internal data path) floating point unit per core.
        • Benefit: Larger data paths and quicker floating point calculations for better performance.

      HyperTransport™ Technology

      • One 16-bit link at up to 4000MT/s
      • Up to 8.0GB/s HyperTransport™ I/O bandwidth; Up to 16GB/s in HyperTransport Generation 3.0 mode
      • Up to 37GB/s total delivered processor-to-system bandwidth (HyperTransport bus + memory bus)
        • Benefit: Quick access times to system I/O for better performance.

      Integrated DRAM Controller with AMD Memory Optimizer Technology

      • A high-bandwidth, low-latency integrated memory controller
      • Supports PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066); PC2-6400 (DDR2-800), PC2-5300 (DDR2-667), PC2-4200 (DDR2-533) or PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) SDRAM unbuffered DIMMs – AM2+
      • Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2 8500(DDR2-1066MHz) and PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333MHz) – AM3
      • Up to 17.1GB/s memory bandwidth for DDR2 and up to 21GB/s memory bandwidth for DDR3
        • Benefit: Quick access to system memory for better performance.

      AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™) Technology With Rapid Virtualization Indexing

      • Silicon feature-set enhancements designed to improve the performance, reliability, and security of existing and future virtualization environments by allowing virtualized applications with direct and rapid access to their allocated memory.
        • Benefit: Helps virtualization software to run more securely and efficiently enabling a better experience when dealing with virtual systems

      AMD PowerNow!™ Technology (Cool’n’Quiet™ Technology)

      • Enhanced power management features which automatically and instantaneously adjusts performance states and features based on processor performance requirements
      • For quieter operation and reduced power requirements
        • Benefit: Enables cooler and quieter platform designs by providing extremely efficient performance and energy usage.

      AMD CoolCore™ Technology

      • Reduces processor energy consumption by turning off unused parts of the processor. For example, the memory controller can turn off the write logic when reading from memory, helping reduce system power.
      • Works automatically without the need for drivers or BIOS enablement.
      • Power can be switched on or off within a single clock cycle, saving energy with no impact to performance.
        • Benefit: Helps users get more efficient performance by dynamically activating or turning off parts of the processor.

      Dual Dynamic Power Management™

      • Enables more granular power management capabilities to reduce processor energy consumption.
      • Separate power planes for cores and memory controller, for optimum power consumption and performance, creating more opportunities for power savings within the cores and memory controller.
        • Benefit: Helps improve platform efficiency by providing on demand memory performance while still allowing for decreased system power consumption

       

      The AMD 800-Series Chipset

      The new 8- Series of AMD Motherboard chipsets introduce both USB and SATA 3.0. USB 3.0 draws its power from the NEC host controller; this is a Dual Simplex link that is bi-directional and, unlike USB 2.0 which is Half Duplex (one –way), it transfers data more efficiently.

       

      Unlike SATA 3, which was first seen on Intel motherboards (Marvell chipset/3rd party), the AMD 800 Series motherboards run native SATA 3 via the 850 Southbridge chipset, which is a direct link to 6 SATA ports, alleviating the middle man. (Marvell)

       

      The 890GX chipset contains an ATI HD 4290 integrated video, which is DirectX 10.1, has a 700MHz core, 40 unified shaders and with added SidePort memory is the most powerful integrated video card produced by AMD to date. The HD 4290 is also capable of Picture in Picture Blu-Ray Playback and upscaling to 720p.

       

      Other features include Hyper-Transport 3.0 (5.2 GT/s), HDMI, VGA and DVI video outputs, two PCI-e 2.0 (1 x 16/1x8) for discrete video, support for DDR3 1333 MHz memory and onboard HD audio.

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Review Philosophy" class="system-pagebreak" title="Review Philosophy" />

      Review Philosophy

      In this review, I will be looking at two completely different processors. Both are considered "enthusiast" type processors, as they are in the Phenom line of AMD CPUs. One is a six core, the other a dual core. So, to compare the two head to head, would be completely pointless. Common sense will tell you which one is going to be the best overall.

      I am going to be showing you the comparisons where the Phenom II X6 1075T lies in its lineup. The price point and speed put it smack dab in the middle of the 1055T and 1090T six core processors. As such, doing full system benchmarks should put the CPU in the middle of the lineup, performance wise. You will see all of our usual benchmarks that test overall system performance, CPU performance, as well as gaming performance. Here is the new price scheme for the line of six cores.

      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T (2.8GHz base/3.3GHz Turbo)- $199 USD
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1075T (3.0GHz base/3.5GHz Turbo)- $245 USD
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1090T (3.2GHz base/3.6GHz Turbo)- $295 USD

      As you can see, AMD's entire line of six core processors is under the $300 price point.

      The next processor under review is the Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition. The X2 560BE is the tinkers' / budget gamers processor. There are many games that still don't take advantage of more than two cores. Heck, most are now banking all of their compute power on the GPU. Also, seeing it is a Black Edition, I will be utilizing the unlocked multiplier in order to overclock. I will compare the stock speeds to the overclocked numbers. As a bonus, I will attempt to unlock the other two cores and comment. There are two dormant cores on this processor that can be opened up and possibly used. Keep in mind that overclocking will void your warranties.

      AMD keeps its easy upgrade tradition going. Both of these processors remain AM3/AM2+ compatible and allow the use of DDR2 and DDR3 DIMMs. This means that a system overhaul is unnecessary in order to upgrade to one of these processors. You can still retain your old memory and motherboard and save a bundle.

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Specifications and Features" class="system-pagebreak" title="Specifications and Features" />

      Specifications and Features

      Specifications for the Phenom II X6 1075T:

      Model Number & Core Frequency

      X6 1075T / 3.0GHz Base / 3.5GHz Turbo CORE

      OPN

      HDT75TFBK6DGR

      L1 Cache Sizes

      64K of L1 instruction and 64K 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 Sizes

      6MB (shared)

      Total Cache (L2+L3)

      9MB

      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(formerly AMD Fab 36)

      Process Technology

      45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology

      Approximate Die Size

      125 Watts

      Approximate Transistor count

      Similar to Istanbul’s ~904 million

      Max TDP

      125 Watts

      AMD Codename

      “Thuban”

       

      Specifications for the Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition:

      Model Number & Core Frequency

      X2 560 / 3.3GHz

      OPN

      HDZ560WFK2DGM

      L1 Cache Sizes

      64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (256KB total L1 per processor)

      L2 Cache Sizes

      1MB of L2 data cache per core (1MB total L2 per processor)

      L3 Cache Size

      6MB (shared)

      Total Cache (L2+L3)

      7MB

      Memory Controller Type

      Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller *

      Memory Controller Speed

      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 (formerly AMD Fab 36)

      Process Technology

      45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology

      Approximate Die Size

      258mm2

      Approximate Transistor count

      ~758 million

      Max TDP

      80 Watts

      AMD Codename

      “Calisto”

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Testing Methods" class="system-pagebreak" title="Testing Methods" />

      Testing Methods

      Benchmarking

      To test all systems, processors, and motherboards, Hi Tech Legion has compiled a list of popular programs to test performance; these benchmarks are taken from programs that are available to the public. We have compiled these to create the Hi Tech Legion Benchmark Suite, which includes system, graphics, processor, rendering, compression, and word processing. All scores will be graphed for each specific test under its category: video benchmarks (gaming will be rated in FPS: Frames per second), system scores will be graded by numbers which are given as results by their respective programs, higher will be better unless otherwise specified. If file compression is chosen, then all times will be in seconds. All temperatures will be measured in Celsius.

      Systems

      Test System

      • Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1075T, AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition
      • Motherboard: Gigabyte 890GPA-UD3H
      • Memory: 4GB Patriot "Sector 5" PC3-12800
      • GPU: ATI Radeon HD 5870
      • HDD: WD Caviar 640GB 7200rpm
      • Power Supply: Ultra X4 850 watt Modular
      • Operating System: Windows 7 64-Bit
      • Case: Thermaltake Armor A60
      • CPU Cooler: Zaward Vapor 120

       

       

      Benchmarks

      System Benchmarks

      • World Bench
      • PCMark Vantage
      • SiSandra (CPU)
      • Everest (Cache and Memory)
      • Cinebench 10 and R11 (CPU Rendering)

       

      Gaming Benchmarks

      • 3DMark Vantage
      • Battle Forge
      • Resident Evil 5
      • World In Conflict

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Benchmarks (World Bench)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Benchmarks (World Bench)" />

      Benchmarks (World Bench)

      World Bench is a system benchmark that tests the rendering, DirectX, video encoding, file compression, data entry, and overall performance of your system. World Bench 6 Beta (stable) gives a base score of 100 for a baseline comparison when different systems are chosen. For our tests, these scores will not be valid; all benchmarks are run individually and will reflect times in seconds as given by the program. If you would like more information here is a link. World Bench 6

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

               

                

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

               

                

       

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Benchmarks (PC Mark Vantage)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Benchmarks (PC Mark Vantage)" />

      Benchmarks (PC Mark Vantage)

      Designed for Windows Vista, PCMark Vantage benchmarks your system with a variety of tests including video, photo editing, gaming, and communications. For results, a total PCMark score will be given (default setting) and individual scores for the tasks that are tested. To learn more about PCMark Vantage visit Futuremarks website.

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

               

               

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

               

               

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Benchmarks (SiSandra)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Benchmarks (SiSandra)" />

      Benchmarks (SiSandra)

      One of our favorites, Sandra from SiSoftware is a system benchmark that individually tests all components of your system. For our benchmarking purpose, we will use the processor section, which includes Processor Arithmetic, Multicore Efficiency, and Multimedia. All scores will be listed as given by benchmark, higher will be better unless otherwise stated. SiSandra

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

              

              

             

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

              

              

             

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Benchmarks (Everest)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Benchmarks (Everest)" />

      Benchmarks (Everest)

      Everest is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool. Everest will be used for its Cache and Memory benchmark. System memory, L1 cache, and L2 cache will be benchmarked for latency, read, write, and copy. Lavalys is the producer of this software.

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

              

              

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

              

              

       

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Benchmarks (Cinebench R10 and R11)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Benchmarks (Cinebench R10 and R11)" />

      Benchmarks (Cinebench R10 and R11)

       

      Created by Maxon, Cinebench R10 and R11 tests rendering of your CPU and GPU and scores their performance individually. We will be using the CPU rendering portion of the program and benchmark single CPU and multiple CPU performance.

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

              

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

              

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Benchmarks (3DMark Vantage)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Benchmarks (3DMark Vantage)" />

      Benchmarks (3DMark Vantage)

      3DMark Vantage is a gaming benchmark used to test the DirectX performance of your graphics card. There are four tests plus a custom setting that can be run: Entry (1024x768), Performance (1280x1024), which is the default setting, High (1680x1050), and Extreme (1920x1200). In each resolution, a total score, a CPU, and GPU are generated. Futuremark

      The settings that we will be using are Entry, Performance, and High.

       

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

             

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

             

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Gaming Benchmark (Battle Forge)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Gaming Benchmark (Battle Forge)" />

      Gaming Benchmark (Battle Forge)

      Battle Forge is an MMORPG that is free to play with its download. You choose from mythical characters and battle until your opponents are conquered. Battle Forge is the first game to support Direct X 11.

       

      Settings

      • AA: x8
      • Default High

       

      Comparison

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Gaming Benchmark (Resident Evil 5)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Gaming Benchmark (Resident Evil 5)" />

      Gaming Benchmark (Resident Evil 5)

      The fifth installation of the Resident Evil Series, which is a first person shooter. You are a member of the World Bioterrorism Team and are sent out to stop a new infestation of the virus created by the Umbrella Corporation.

       

      Settings

      • AA: x8
      • Levels: High

       

      Comparison

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Gaming Benchmark (World in Conflict)" class="system-pagebreak" title="Gaming Benchmark (World in Conflict)" />

      Gaming Benchmark (World in Conflict)

      Do you have what it takes to conquer your opponent? World in Conflict is a DX10 game where, if you don't defeat your opponent, you don't gain. This is an all out, winner-take-all, modern war scenario.

       

      Settings

      • Graphics: Very High

       

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Overclocking" class="system-pagebreak" title="Overclocking" />

      Overclocking

      Warning: Overclocking will void your warranty.

      AMD Phenom II X6 1075T

      The 1075T is a different beast than its predecessor. The base CPU multiplier is 15x instead of 14x. Therefore, you'd think that you would get a better overclock out of it. Well, I did get a good overclock. It wasn't as spectacular as the 1055T, but that could have just been my batch of chips. I was able to get the base clock up to 4ghz with turbo CORE off. However, the CPU failed the stability tests in AMD Overdrive after a few minutes, despite increased voltage and dropped memory/NB/HT multipliers.

       

      I didn't consider this a complete failure. Not at all. I was still able to get a very nice overclock, and push the Turbo CORE to hit that 4GHz mark. Using a combination of AOD and BIOS settings, I was able to get the HT Reference clock to 250, which pushed my base CPU speed to 3.75GHz at the 15x multiplier. Dropping the Turbo CORE Multiplier to 16x put that speed exactly at 4.0GHz. The memory multiplier was dropped from 8.00x to 6.66x. This left my DDR3 at 832.5 MHz per DIMM. I was able to keep this completely stable at a base voltage of 1.375V and turbo core at 1.45V.

       

      AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition

      Overclocking the 560BE was a piece of cake. It's a wonder what an unlocked processor can do. The first thing that I did was see how far the multiplier could go stable. In order to do this, I started at 19.5x and worked my way down. The system was unbootable at 19.5x, so I backed to 19x. This multiplier produced a crash during loading, so I stepped down once again to 18.5x. At this multiplier, the system booted just fine at 3.7GHz, but remained a tad unstable. I raised the CPU voltage to 1.35V and all was right in the world. I opened up AOD and decided to push it further to see what I could get it to at this multiplier. Fortunately, I hit 4GHz when the HT Reference got to 217. This speed failed the stability tests until I incremented the CPU voltage to 1.45V. I stopped at this point seeing going further demonstrated more headaches. However, I didn't need to change any other setting so my memory topped out at 868MHz per DIMM, which is just around its limit.

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Putting It All Together" class="system-pagebreak" title="Putting It All Together" />

      Putting It All Together

      The AMD Phenom II X6 1075T performed as expected, at stock speeds, right in the middle of the 1055T and the 1090T in all of the CPU benchmarks. There weren't any hassles, errors, or problems when installing or running the 1075T. I was able to pull off my heatsink, pull out the 1055T, and replace it with the 1075T. The system recognized it right away, as I already had the most up-to-date BIOS installed. System performance was top notch. The benchmarks show the improvement over the 1055T in all areas. The 1090T had some slight advantages when it came to the memory. However, that was because I didn't have the processor on hand to test in my system. So, for reference purposes, I used the processor numbers from my enthusiast series review for the 1090T. The system was identical to my current one except for the RAM. Therefore any of the tests that utilize more of the RAM will show a slight advantage to the 1090T.

      The 1075T overclocked only slightly worse than the 1055T because I wasn't able to get the base clock completely stable at 4GHz, although I did reach it with the computer intact. I was still able to achieve a slightly better overclock then the 1055T when I utilized the Turbo CORE. Either way, I was still able to get a completely stable 750MHz base overclock and 500MHz Turbo Core overclock on this processor. I probably just got a bum chip, as both the 1055T and 1090T overclocked to 4GHz stable, but required some major system multiplier drops. I'd rather keep my RAM fast then dropping it below the rated speeds and trying to change timings. With the Zalman Vapor 120, all temperatures were kept within acceptable parameters, so there were no issues with heat.

       

      The AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition was a gem to test. Right after I was done tweaking and testing the 1075T, I removed that CPU and replaced it with the 560BE. There weren't any issues, as the motherboard recognized it immediately. Well, I did have to go back into the BIOS and reset all of my changed settings, so it wasn't completely smooth *sarcasm*. Windows booted without any issues and installed the new processor. After a reboot, I was up and running. I was really surprised how well the 560BE ran. Recently, the only time I use a dual core processor is on my laptop. I had grown unaccustomed to having one run on my desktop. All of the benchmarks ran without a hitch, and surprisingly, quite a few ran BETTER then the six core. This shows what a good dual core CPU can really do in certain situations and reinforces that not everything uses every single core, even if you have more than two. The bonus of having the L3 cache on board makes it all worthwhile.

      The real advantage of the 560BE is its ability to easily overclock. They label it a Black Edition because they unlock the CPU multiplier. Instead of fidgeting with memory timings and changing HT multipliers, I can just change the CPU frequency and be done with it. That would be too easy, though, so I put in the extra effort to tweak the HT reference clock and CPU voltage. Achieving 4GHz was no trouble at all.

      Now, there is also another little hidden trick that AMD hid in the 560. This is the ability to unlock the extra cores onboard and turn it into a quad core. Most motherboards come with a CPU Unlock setting in the BIOS. This needs to be turned to "enable" in order to unlock any hidden cores. I was able to unlock the 2 extra cores. Unfortunately, despite various setting changes, I was unable to achieve a stable system with the cores unlocked. This might be due to my motherboard, or maybe the BIOS I had installed. So, while not a guarantee, it is possible, depending on the chip you purchase. Think of it like an added bonus if you get it to work. Quad core Phenom at 3.3GHz for $105. Ain't that a bargain. However, it is a lottery.

       

       

      <hrdata-mce-alt="Conclusion" class="system-pagebreak" title="Conclusion" />

      Conclusion

      Provided By: AMD

      No compensation was received for review of this product.

      Price Point

      Price: X6 1075T $245 USD, X2 560 Black Edition $105 USD

      Class: Mainstream

      At their respective prices, both processors are in the mainstream category of processors.

      Performance

      The AMD Phenom II X6 1075T and Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition performed excellent. The 1075T is right in the middle of the 1055T and 1090T. The 560 had phenomenal overclock-ability, as well as the potential to go quad core.

      Reviewer's Opinion

      AMD keeps improving their Phenom line of processors. They have rounded out their six core lineup with a middle child. The AMD Phenom II X6 1075T is an excellent processor. You get six cores rated to run at 3.0GHz and the Turbo CORE ability to excel to 3.5GHz. However, it doesn't suffer middle child syndrome. There is a sense of belonging and independence as it does set itself apart from both the 1055T and 1090T. There is quite a bit of overclocking headroom as well, but like with any processor, your mileage will vary based on chip batch. I was able to closely match its brothers in overclockability. 

      The AMD Phenom II X2 560 Black Edition is a great processor for the budget gamer. The stock speeds are already set to 3.3GHz, which is plenty of juice to power any budget card on the market. Its unlocked multiplier makes pushing the chip extremely simple and much easier on the system as a whole, as my memory and motherboard weren't taxed as hard. So if you're the type of user that just has to play with every setting to get the most out of your system, the 560BE doesn't disappoint. Also, if you get lucky, you could possibly have a Quad Core on your hands.

      AMD continues to offer a mind boggling amount of choice when it comes to CPUs. From top of the line, to extreme budget, there is something for everyone. AMD offers Hexa-Core processors for UNDER $300 that perform insanely well and still work with older systems. Their continued effort to keep things simple and compatible makes them an excellent choice when building new computers, or improving old ones.

       

      Pros:

      • Turbo CORE Ability (6 Core)
      • High Overclockability
      • Phenom Quality
      • 6MB L3 Cache
      • AM2+/3 Compatibility
      • Price v. Performance
      • Possibility of Turning the 560 Quad Core
      • Black Edition (Unlocked Multiplier)

       

        Cons:

        • None

         

        editors_choice

         

         

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