AMD's second-fastest Phenom II has gone on a diet. Well, that's one way to put it. When AMD launched the Phenom II X4 945 in April, that processor had the same 125W thermal envelope as its high-end quad-core counterparts. Now, a 95W version has appeared in AMD's CPU comparator and at some e-tailers.
As far as we can tell from the comparator listing, the new 95W model has the same 3GHz core clock speed, 512KB of L2 cache per core, and Socket AM3 package as its 125W predecessor. The max temperature has gone from 62°C to 71°C, though. AMD's comparator doesn't mention the L3 cache size, but a ZipZoomFly listing suggests it's still 6MB for both CPUs.
Speaking of that ZipZoomFly listing, the 95W Phenom II X4 945 is available at that e-tailer for $175.99—only a buck more than the 125W model. Not bad.
This little TDP tweak could be what the Phenom II X4 945 needs to become an attractive alternative to the Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition. We recommended the 940 over the 945 in our last system guide because, while the former lacked DDR3 support, it also cost (much) less and had an unlocked upper multiplier. At this point, though, the 940 is only $6 cheaper, and it still has a 125W TDP.