Advanced Micro Devices has released a new quad-core processor - the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition - which clocks in at 3.4GHz and is now the fastest four-core chip in the company's lineup.
AMD released its latest Phenom chip Aug. 13. The AMD Phenom II X4 965 is designed to work with the company's Dragon platform for high-end gaming PCs and custom-made desktops. Since the chip is a "Black Edition," the processor can be unlocked, which allows users to crank the clock speed even higher.
This AMD chip is another in a series of 45-nanometer, quad-core processors that AMD has released so far this year as it looks to shore up its part of the gaming and high-end PC market. Intel has also released a number of quad-core processors aimed at this market and many of the technologies AMD and Intel use in their gaming chips eventually make their way down to more mainstream processors for personal and professional desktops.
The AMD Phenom II X4 965 chip is considered the fastest of AMD's quad-core desktop processors when it comes to clock speed.
Earlier this year, AMD announced the Phenom II X4 955 chip, which offered a clock speed of 3.2.GHz but could also be unlocked to provide for greater clock speed.
The AMD Phenom II X4 965 supports 512KB of L2 cache with each of the processor's four processing cores for a total of 2MB. In addition, the chip offers 6MB of total L3 cache. Other AMD technology found in the 965 chip includes an integrated memory controller as well as a HyperTransport Link.
The Phenom II X4 965 is compatible with both DDR2 (double data rate 2) memory and DDR3 memory. While Intel and its new line of Nehalem-based processors make use of DD3 memory, AMD has hedged its bets with DDR3 and the company believes users will not adopt this type of memory technology when it comes to PCs until 2010 and 2011.
The 965 chip also works with AMD's AM3 socket and it is also backward-compatible with the AM2+ socket. The AMD chip also works in thermal envelopes up to 140 watts.
While AMD is releasing more desktop chips, the company is also revamping its server lineup. In July, AMD rolled out a pair of new six-core Opteron processors for server systems. Much of this is in reaction to Intel, which is preparing a new group of processors based on newer 32-nanometer technology and codenamed "Westmere."
During its second-quarter financial results call, AMD executives said the company plans to focus on the server market and new laptop platforms during the second half of the year. The company also plans to expand the reach of its ATI graphics offerings.