Earlier this year PCWizKid reviewed AMD's latest release of the "C3" variant of their top of the line quad-core Phenom II X4 965. The C3 versions of processors have proven to be more energy efficient and also more stable at higher overclocked frequencies. Today we take a close look at the Phenom II X4 970 Black Edition CPU form AMD which builds upon the success of the 965. The 970 BE is AMD's fastest quad-core processor to date, with a price tag of only $185 USD it is clocked at 3.5GHz. Since it is an unlocked Black Edition processor we look forward to great overclocking potential. The only difference from the 965 BE is 100Mhz increase in 970 BE.
GLOBALFOUNDARIES Fab 1 module 1 in Dresden, Germany (formerly AMD Fab 36)
45-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology
Approximate Die Size
Approximate Transistor count
Maximum peak wattage of 125 Watts
AMD Core Codename
PCWizKid's Test system
- Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P Motherboard - AMD Radeon HD5850 1GB Graphics Card - OCZ 4GB DDR3 Memory - WD Caviar Blue SATA II 500GB HDD - Tuniq Ripper 1000 Watt Power Supply - Cooler Master Scout Case - Noctua NH-D14 CPU cooler - Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Proven by PCWizKid's benchmark results the Phenom II X4 970 BE is indeed AMD's fastest quad core CPU to date. What was impressive about this CPu is not the 100Mhz more default clock speed, but the amount over overclocking that was achieved while keeping the temperatures lower than the Phenom II X4 965. You can definitely see the pattern that which each release version of the CPU architecture they are becoming easier to overclock and getting to 4Ghz+ is done with little effort and at little expense. However if your not planning on overclocking, then the 100Mhz increase with the new 970 BE is not worth the expense over the 965. In my opinion if you are looking for a substantial increase in performance from the Phenom 965 or 970 the 6-core AMD Phenom's are the way to go. Otherwise for less than $190 USD you can get the latest Quad Core from AMD and overclock it for maximum performance for the $$$.