Samples of AMD's upcoming 45nm Phenom processors seem to be making the rounds among Chinese enthusiast sites, and ZOL.com.cn is the latest to enjoy the honor. The site has compared a 2.3GHz 45nm Phenom to an identically clocked Phenom X4 9600 in power consumption and heat tests.
For full-system power consumption, ZOL found that the 45nm Phenom system drew 7W less power at idle (147W instead of 154W) than its 65nm counterpart, while power draw dropped by 24W at a full load (176W instead of 200W). For what it's worth, we observed a 41W difference between Intel's 45nm Core 2 Quad Q9300 and 65nm Core 2 Quad Q6600 in our testing using different equipment. ZOL's monitoring software reported temperatures of up to 31°C at a load for the 45nm chip, down from a high of 40°C for the 65nm model.
As we reported earlier this month, another Chinese enthusiast site managed to overclock what could be the same 45nm Phenom sample from 2.3GHz to 3.4GHz. That overclock involved raising the voltage by a potentially unhealthy amount, but the chip also hit 3GHz with a relatively minor voltage bump. As we pointed out then, volume 45nm Phenom production shouldn't begin until next quarter. AMD therefore has some time left to tweak and refine its 45nm chips.