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AMD Phenom 9950 X4 Quad-Core Processor

Author:  Michael Lynch
Date:  2008.07.03
Topic:  Processors
Provider:  AMD
Manufacturer:  AMD

AMD Phenom 9950 X4 Quad-Core Processor

AMD Phenom


AMD's release on July 1st 2008 included the introduction to three new quad core processors. One of which is the 9950, which was released to fix the TLB erratum problems on the 9900. The other two released were products new to the market, the 9150e and the 9350e. While the TLB issue may have been an issue for some customers, the new B3 stepping introduced in the 9x50 series no longer has this problem.

AMD has named the new series with what they are calling their '9x50 series' of processors. This makes things very easy for the consumer to identify the new cpu's when purchasing, and identifying the new B3 stepping processors from the initial 9x00 series. Previously released AMD Phenom X4 processors are the 9550 (2.2GHz), 9650 (2.3GHz), 9750 (2.4GHz) and 9850 (2.5GHz). And newly added to the lineup is the 9150e (1.8GHz), 9350 (2.0GHz), and the 9950 (2.6GHz).

The processor we are reviewing today is the AMD Phenom X4 9950 Quad Core with the new B3 Stepping using the 65nm Silicon on Insulator process technology. This new processor is a 'Black Edition' and has the CPU/FSB multiplier unlocked for easier overclocking, but it has a nominal TDP of 140W making temperature control during overclocking very critical. We have also noticed that the 9950 processor has a faster 2.0GHz memory controller, making it among the best of the other '9x50 series' processors that retain the slower 1.8GHz or 1.6GHz memory controller.

CPU Specifications (New AMD Phenom X4):

Processor Model / Frequency: X4 9950 / 2.6GHz
X4 9350e / 2.0GHz
X4 9150e / 1.8GHz
L1 Cache Sizes: 64K of L1 instruction and 64K of L1 data cache per core (512 KB total L1 per processor)
L2 Cache Sizes: 512KB of L2 data cache per core (2MB total L2 per processor)
L3 Cache Size: 2MB (shared)
Packaging: Socket AM2+ 940-pin organic micro pin grid array (micro-PGA)
Fab location: AMD's Fab 36 wafer fabrication facilities in Dresden, Germany
Process Technology: 65-nanometer DSL SOI (silicon-on-insulator) technology
Approximate Transistor count:  ~ 450 million
Approximate Die Size: 285 mm2
Memory Controller Type: Integrated 128-bit wide memory controller *
Types of Memory Supported: Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2 8500 (DDR2-1066MHz)
Memory Controller Speed:  X4 9950: up to 2.0GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
X4 9350e: up to 1.8GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
X4 9150e: up to 1.6GHz with Dual Dynamic Power Management
HyperTransport 3.0 Specification: X4 9950: One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 4.0GHz full duplex (2.0GHz x2)
X4 9350e: One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 3.6GHz full duplex (1.8GHz x2)
X4 9150e: One 16-bit/16-bit link @ up to 3.2GHz full duplex (1.6GHz x2)
Total Processor Bandwidth: X4 9950:        Up to 33.1 GB/s bandwidth
X4 9350e:       Up to 31.5 GB/s bandwidth
X4 9150e:       Up to 29.9 GB/s bandwidth
Max Ambient Case Temp: X4 9950:        61 degrees Celsius
X4 9350e:       70 degrees Celsius
X4 9150e:       70 degrees Celsius
Nominal Voltage: X4 9950:        1.05-1.30 Volts
X4 9350e:       1.05-1.125 Volts
X4 9150e:       1.05-1.15 Volts
Max TDP:  X4 9950:        140 Watts
X4 9350e:       65 Watts
X4 9150e:       65 Watts
*Note: configurable for dual 64-bit channels for simultaneous read/writes
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