ConclusionAMD’s latest speed bump is not a surprise to anyone. People have been expecting it for some months now, but they have thrown a small wrinkle into the mix by the much improved overclocking potential of several of these chips. Fleshing out the X6 lineup is another big key here, as Intel has nothing that compares to the two products at the $199 and $249 price points. It is somewhat unfortunate that the 1075T is locked, but if a user wants that functionality they will have to pony up the extra $45 to $50 for the 1090T Black Edition.
The new Athlon II products have again pushed down the prices on the previous SKUs, so there are plenty of very affordable multi-core CPUs from AMD. Combine these parts with an 800 series, sub-$110 motherboard, and a user will have a very inexpensive yet powerful desktop system for a variety of workloads and tasks. Again, the X2 265 is really a great gaming CPU. The high clockspeed, larger L2 caches, and sub-$80 price should make this a shoe-in for any budget gaming rig which requires a smattering of other desktop uses.
The Phenom II X2 560 is a lot of fun as well. It overclocks very well in 2 core mode, and in my case, it unlocked into 4 cores without any problems. Not every user should expect to be able to unlock the extra cores, as it is far from being guaranteed. But most users should expect very easy and high overclocks from these parts in 2 core mode. This is a better overall gaming chip than the X2 265, but it is $30 more expensive.
Finally we have the new overclocking king from AMD. The Phenom II X4 970 is the fastest stock clocked processor of the family at 3.5 GHz. While it does not feature a Turbo Mode like the X6 parts, it is so incredibly easy to overclock to 4 GHz and above, that anyone wanting to make an AMD based system and overclock the dickens out of it should not look anywhere else. I would be very curious to see where this chip ends up when the LN2 people get a hold of it.
So, while this release is not entirely surprising, it does refresh the entire lineup to keep interest up for AMD’s products. The addition of another X6 SKU, as well as the new Phenom II X4 970 overclocking machine, has at least made this one a bit more memorable than the last time AMD released these speed bumps. I am anxiously awaiting more users getting a hold of the X4 970 and see to what new heights they will take these chips.
Phenom II X4 970 Processor
Phenom II X2 560 Processor
Phenom II X6 1075T, Athlon II X4 645, Athlon II X3 450, and the Athlon II X2 265