AMD intros six new Athlon IIs, but no Phenom II X4 960T

Not long after the introduction of its Phenom II X6 six-core processors, AMD has decided to freshen up its lower-end Athlon II lineup with a series of speed increases today. This total lineup refresh is similar to incremental steps forward AMD has taken in the past. The top product of each type gets a very minor 100MHz bump in clock frequency, and that new model steps into the highest existing price point. To make room, the remaining models will then drop down a notch to a lower price.

Here’s a table showing off the new Athlon II models and their prices:

Model Cores Clock speed L2 cache size

(per core)

TDP Price
Athlon II X4 640 4 3.0 GHz 512 KB 95 W $122
Athlon II X3 445 3 3.1 GHz 512 KB 95 W $87
Athlon II X2 260 2 3.2 GHz 1 MB 65 W $76
Athlon II X4 610e 4 2.4 GHz 512 KB 45 W $143
Athlon II X3 415e 3 2.5 GHz 512 KB 45 W $102
Athlon II X2 245e 2 2.9 GHz 1 MB 45 W $77

By and large, what you see above fits the plan as we’ve described. One deviation is the fact that the Athlon II X3 415e is actually a 200MHz clock speed increase over the current Athlon II X3 405e, although the price holds steady at $102. Another little change is an increase in supported memory speeds—to 1066MHz for DDR2 and 1333MHz for DDR3—for the Athlon II X2 260, made possible by the move to the C3 silicon stepping.

In fact, all of the new Athlon II chips introduced today are based on C3 silicon, which is a minor improvement of the familiar Propus and Regor chips. This stepping doesn’t include the additional goodness introduced with the six-core Thuban parts, such as a low-k dielectric for reduced power leakage or Turbo Core dynamic clock scaling.

One product conspicuous by its absence above is the widely rumored quad-core part based on Thuban silicon, the Phenom II X4 960T. The buzz around that possible offering has grown to the point where motherboard maker ASRock even sent out a press release promising support for unlocking the two disabled cores in the processor.

Then again, it also declared, “ASRock brings magic to our fan again and makes your dreams come true!” So perhaps that’s not an entirely unimpeachable source of information.

In fact, AMD has confirmed to TR that it will not be introducing a Thuban-based quad-core part today or in the near future. The purported Phenom II X4 960T chips floating around out there are real, but they are engineering samples not slated to materialize as real products any time soon. The firm tells us a Phenom II X4 product with Turbo Core technology may not ever happen, since the bulk of its efforts are now focused on next-generation products. If such a beast does ship eventually, it may be an OEM-only part intended for system builders, not for wider distribution.

On a similar note, the list of six new Athlon IIs above isn’t entirely comprehensive. Several OEM-only CPU models are quietly being updated today, as well.

For those who are hankering for a massive TR-style roundup of the new processors, we haven’t yet had a chance to put the new retail Athlon IIs through their paces. That will surely come in time, though.

With this refresh, the debut of the Phenom II X6, and the accompanying release of the 800-series chipsets, AMD’s desktop platform update is largely complete. We now know more or less how AMD’s desktop platform lineup will look for the rest of the summer, if not longer. We expect AMD will turn its attention to its revamped mobile platforms, also due very soon.

Comments closed
    • StuG
    • 9 years ago

    I honestly hope that quad-core never comes out. Always thought it was a stupid chip, give me a Phenom 965T that turbos to 3.8Ghz and we’ll talk.

      • Farting Bob
      • 9 years ago

      l[

        • StuG
        • 9 years ago

        Lol I’m sure that everybody understands what I’m talking about, especially since I referenced a model that was already out, the Phenom II 965. Let alone that I am running a quad-core.

        I hope the Phenom II 960T comes out because its a stupid idea. Lets use some brain-power next time and not make stupid posts 🙂

    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    Why cant they just replace the current phenom II x4 lineup with zosma?… I mean, it could have made the current lineup messy if they just add zosma.. but if they replace it, they could sell 4 cores phenom at lower tdp right?…. Do they have 90% yield or something?..

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      All of the sub-3.4 GHz CPUs are going to be 95w TDP now. They don’t need to be made like/out of the X6s.

      You have to keep in mind that the 3.4 GHz “boost” on the 960T is for fewer than four cores, at the very best. That’s the real reason the TDP is lower than the X4 965. It’s not really equivalent.

      What it’s equivalent to is that X4 945, which has been 95w TDP for a year.

      • StashTheVampede
      • 9 years ago

      The money hasn’t been in desktop chips for quite some time, good on AMD from shifting their focus to notebook based parts.

      I’ve love to build a 24/7 server out of a quad core mobile platform (mobile cpu, chipset, gpu) and sticking it with a 3.5″ drive instead.

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    Two chips caught my interest here. First, the Athlon II X4 640 raises the bar for AMD’s affordable quad core series. Second, the Athlon II X4 610e also deserves serious merit. Compared to the Athlon II X4 620 which runs at 2.6GHz and eats up 95W, the 610e cuts the power consumption by half ( *45W!*) and sacrifices just 200MHz. Granted, it won’t take your breathe away, but those who happen to just surf the Web and transcode videos for their iPods will find this chip a winner.

    • flip-mode
    • 9 years ago

    Gawd, I read that as *[

      • tfp
      • 9 years ago

      I read your post and I was like /[

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        I read your post and was like i[

    • burntham77
    • 9 years ago

    45 watt quad cores… AMD really wants to just own the HTPC market don’t they? I’m all in!

      • poulpy
      • 9 years ago

      Out of curiosity what do you do with your HTPC which would benefit from a quad core?
      At home Video/audio playback is handled -in HD- by my nVidia ION while my dual core Atom is mostly sitting idle, using a couple of cycles to torrent in the background.
      And the Atom 330 is consuming -what- 8W?

        • Deanjo
        • 9 years ago

        Encoding and capturing of video streams would be a good reason for a quad. For playback, an atom setup is fine but not when recording is involved.

          • poulpy
          • 9 years ago

          ION handles video encoding too but would probably collapse if trying to do both at the same time arguably.
          Dropping a slightly stronger GPU in a low power dual core system might be a better option than going quad-core though?
          Mind you I might be talking out of my arse, never been into encoding myself 🙂

            • Deanjo
            • 9 years ago

            Trying to do x264 encoding on an ION system is far from being a reality. If you have days to encode a HD clip it could be done but when it comes to encoding HD content, cores are king.

        • clone
        • 9 years ago

        everything my desktop does now but much quieter and with lower power consumption.

    • syedcdp
    • 9 years ago

    Meet Zosma: AMD’s Quad-Core Phenom II X4 960T Gets Unlocked !!

    §[< http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-x4-960t-zosma-core-unlocking,2627.html<]§

    • Arag0n
    • 9 years ago

    No 960T for distribution = We belive that the x6 it’s strong enought to not let people try to buy a cheaper part to activate the “dead cores”.

      • Meadows
      • 9 years ago

      In a lot of cases, the cores /[

        • Arag0n
        • 9 years ago

        I know, but you know?

        A thuban x4 with turbo features would be arround the same performance of the thuban x6 at 80% aplications (including games) but they would not be able to sell it for the same price.

        Then, why give a cheaper option to consumers while phenom 965 its doing a good job, and we can save the premium features for the x6 versions?

          • Hattig
          • 9 years ago

          AMD have said that they wish to keep their CPU line-ups simpler than in the past rather than littering the landscape with similar but different products. Maybe they didn’t want to muddy up the existing X4 line with a different type of X4 entirely…

          Or their yields are good and they’re selling all the X6s they make anyway.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 9 years ago

          What they’re saying is that they don’t have enough screwed up X6s cropping up to justify packaging a separate model with disabled cores.

          The slower X6 1035T still hasn’t showed up. It’s very likely that is the designation reserved for the “throw away” chips they’ll pile up over time, since its clock speeds are relatively low.

          The X4 version was only supposed to “boost” up to 3.4 GHz at the highest, still making it slower overall than the existing 965 is stock. How would it have been cannibalizing X6 sales? It’s redundant of year old CPUs, not anything special.

          AMD have no reason to bother with “turbo” on anything other than the X6s, where it’s needed to keep the TDP rating down without making them outright slow. The rest have already been sold at about their limit all along.

    • masaki
    • 9 years ago

    l[<1333MHz for DDR23<]l DDR3?

      • codedivine
      • 9 years ago

      Actually that was supposed to be GHz

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    Yawn.

      • ClickClick5
      • 9 years ago

      Meadows? Is that you?

      I’m happy to see AMD bringing back 1MB L2 cache!

        • tfp
        • 9 years ago

        Sure on the parts that have half the cores disabled they might as well use the cache if it’s still good.

          • Thorburn
          • 9 years ago

          The cache from a disabled core cannot be used by another, the Athlon II X2 uses Regor which is natively dual-core and 1MB L2 per core, X3 and X4 use Propus which is quad-core and 512KB L2 per core.

          • Hattig
          • 9 years ago

          The Athlon X2 is a different die from the X4, and has always had 1MB L2 cache per core.

          • ronch
          • 9 years ago

          The Athlon II X2 uses a different die than the Athlon II X4. On the Athlon II X2 die, the size of the memory controller and crossbar switch, along with the memory interface, doesn’t allow the chip to have a smaller width. So, AMD might as well use the space by putting in 1MB per core instead of 512KB.

            • tfp
            • 9 years ago

            Yes my mistake but I did figure that out after the other 2 people pointed it out…

            • grantmeaname
            • 9 years ago

            The Athlon II X2 uses a different die than the Athlon II X4.

            • tfp
            • 9 years ago

            So does your mom

        • Meadows
        • 9 years ago

        No, that was Krogoth.

          • sweatshopking
          • 9 years ago

          Krogoth is the SEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • ronch
            • 9 years ago

            I think you’ve had too much beer, dude.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        What do you mean bring back? It’s been there as long as there have been Athlon II CPUs.

          • ClickClick5
          • 9 years ago

          1MB per core. None of this “It has 1Mb L2 cache…total.”

          • Meadows
          • 9 years ago

          He meant /[

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