Even more CPU stuff

I thought I ought to give you guys a quick update on what’s cooking in Damage Labs.  You’ve probably seen my Skulltrail review by now, but if you didn’t look closely, you may have missed something that I included in it: full results for the Phenom 9600 both with and without the TLB erratum workaround enabled.  Ever since we first published our article about the performance hit caused by the workaround, I had intended to follow up with a full set of results for the entirety of our CPU test suite.  The Skulltrail review has that data, and you can see that the workaround’s performance impact is substantial in a great many applications, including games.  Flip through the review and check out the numbers, if you’d like.  I think the workaround’s true impact is worth keeping in mind, especially since I’d expect the vast majority of Phenom-based systems from PC makers to be shipping with the TLB workaround enabled, per AMD’s recommendation.  Like many of you, I’d much rather be talking about happier subjects, but this one affects consumers in a very concrete way.  I think we’re obligated to point that out.

This is our first review with power consumption testing using production a production Phenom with Cool’n’Quiet enabled, as well.  The Phenom/790FX combo looks pretty good on idle and peak power, but its performance in Cinebench isn’t snappy enough to allow a good showing in our power efficiency measurement.  I suppose those things are no surprise given its relatively low clock speed.

Another upcoming write-up will be the Phenom 9600 Black Edition.  I’ve tested it, overclocked it, and have results ready.  I’ve just been trying to find time to write this one up.

Also on the test bench: the Phenom 9500 and the Core 2 Duo E8500.  The Penryn-based E8500 is intriguing because it’s priced the same as the 65nm Core 2 Quad Q6600.  The addition of this chip to Intel’s lineup, combined with an unexpected wait for 45nm quads, really raises the stakes in the battle between two fast cores versus four slower ones.  Testing is underway…

Comments closed
    • Tumbleweed
    • 12 years ago

    I just wanted the one that tested the best without having to overclock. I’m about done waiting, though, it’s kinda too bad I waited this long – the price of the E8400 at Newegg has gone up like 3 times since it came out. It started out at $219.99 and is now at $244.99. Ugh. I’ve got a new P35-based mobo ready with DDR2-1066 memory for it. I’m also considering upgrading to 2x 1TB drives for a nice data mirror.

    • My Johnson
    • 12 years ago

    Gads, for how long has this AMD TLB issue been going on?

      • just brew it!
      • 12 years ago

      It takes a while to get a new stepping of a CPU designed, tested, and produced in sufficient quantity for a product rollout. Best case — if everything goes perfectly — I think you are looking at several months, so the delay is not surprising.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 12 years ago

    So when is the E8500 due out? It was supposed to come out Jan 20, same as the E8400, but I’m still not seeing it actually in stock anywhere, and that’s the last thing that’s holding up my new system build. ๐Ÿ™

      • edub82
      • 12 years ago

      Why buy an E8500? is the .5 higher multiplier that important? Am I missing something else?

        • Sikthskies
        • 12 years ago

        Higher bin?

    • themattman
    • 12 years ago

    I can’t wait to see the E8500 and Q9450 articles. It will make my day to read those ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lethal
    • 12 years ago

    I did miss the numbers, but now looking at them… that’s awful. If you can’t disable the patch, even the cheapest X2’s or C2D’s would likely mop the floor with it unless the application actually uses all 4 cores at the same time.

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