We first brought up the AMD TWKR processors last week but we are now starting to see some actual hands-on time with the processors at various places around the web.  The Inquirer posted an update about these CPUs today as well:

AMD appears to have sent out their little TWKRs to the creme de la creme of overclocking high society, with forums announcing that the likes of K|ngp|in, Chew*, SF3D and Maci have already gotten their paws on them.

K|ngp|in et all are considered demi gods in the world of extreme overclocking and the likes of SF3D and Macci have previously appeared in AMD unprocessed videos pushing the firm’s Phenom II to the max.

Someone over at Legit Reviews also got their hands on one and was able to get some impressive results:

Reaching nearly 6.6GHz on a Phenom II X4 processor was an awesome experience and it just goes to show how far these cores can go with the right cooling. AMD has done a great job with the Phenom II processors and the TWKR edition processors really highlight that success.

Very nice! Now, I have a bit of a problem with this barrage of marketing though.  It stems from a couple of answers to LR’s questions posted in their “review”:

Will this ever go retail and if so what is pricing?

Right now this is just for the good of the community and not for sale.

How rare are these processors? Are they 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 100,000?

There are less than 100 of these that I know of, and unlike our competitor we don’t have the means or process in place to sort through thousands of processors. All AMD Phenom II processors have great potential and we have a few secrets on what we look for as the glass comes off the line…so far we’ve found what we’re looking for. When everything performs well it isn’t too tough to find fast chips.

So AMD is essentially creating a buzz around its Phenom II product line using VERY specifically handpicked processors that were given to very specific people to play around with.  Is it fair?  Is this basically the same problem we saw years ago in the GPU world when companies like NVIDIA and ATI would release super-high-clocked graphics cards (like the 8800 Ultra or X850XT “Phantom Edition”) to show their “dominance” in the market but never actually deliver something a consumer could buy and use?  I tend to think so.

You could also compare the tactic to GM showing off really cool concept cars only to try and sell you a Cobalt when you reach the dealership. 

AMD Phenom II TWKR chips tested, but does it matter? - Processors  1
This is the “Pandora’s Box” of processors apparently…

To be perfectly open: yes we asked for a TWKR part and no we were not given one.  Would it have been fun to play with it and some LN2?  Sure, we would have had a blast putting that video out for you all to see.  But our opinion would have been the same: show you (the consumer) the money.

AMD: if you are so proud of your processors and their clock speeds and performance, put up or shut up.  Give us that high-end 3.8 GHz CPU that will make Phenom II competitive with Core i7 and the upcoming Lynnfield parts.  Don’t tease the enthusiast with something they can’t buy in hopes of getting a few more sales.  Remember last November when you showed the same parts running at 5 GHz+?  What has the average consumer gotten out of that in the 7 months since?

Look, I don’t want to come off COMPLETELY down on the company that is trying to build excitement around its brand.  But the truth is that AMD’s technology doesn’t allow them to produce products of this caliber in any remotely profitable volume and thus many users will find the marketing distasteful. 

Update:  Josh, one PC Perspective’s other editors thinks I might be coming down on AMD a bit too hard here.  Here is his “conclusion” on the TWKR part:

TWKR is a very specialized marketing tool being used by AMD to garner more fans in the outspoken enthusiast ranks, unfortunately, for the average buyer it means squat and they will be lucky to even catch a real life glimpse of even the special TWKR box.