Intel takes the heat from AMDs Thuban hexacores

AMD Phenom II X6 1090T and 1055T: Six cores on a budget

AMD's going hexacore: How will the competitively priced Phenom II X6 1090T and X6 1055T fare against Intels quad- and hexacore line-up? PC Games Hardware puts the new sixcore Phenoms to the test against the most important processors of the current line-up.
Phenom II X6

With Intels Gulftown only having a few weeks of a headstart in the desktop business, AMDs new Phenom II processors based on the Thuban core promise to offer six cores and a brand new speed-up function called TurboCore for a price that'll make sixcore CPUs affordable to everyone - especially gamers. PC Games Hardware puts the new Phenom II X6 models through a representative set of benchmarks in order to find out if AMD can offer the smarter choice for gamers.

New Phenom models
AMD's going to launch three new models at first:
- Phenom II X6 1090T (3,2 GHz)
- Phenom II X6 1055T (2,8 GHz)
- Phenom II X6 1035 T (2,6 GHz)
As you'll notice, there's 400 MHz between the top two offerings, while the slowest model, the 1035T, will be an OEM-only model according to AMD. The ever busy price search engines do list the processors a couple of days already, putting them at approximately 190 and 290 Euro respectively.

Thuban- what's new
AMD Phenom II X6: 'Turbocore'
AMD Phenom II X6: "Turbocore" [Source: view picture gallery]
Apart from the additional two cores, there's the aforementioned TurboCore functionality. This is a technique similar to Intels Turbo Boost as it accelerates the processors speed by up to 500 MHz (400 MHz for 1090T), whenever at least three of the cores are not in use, thus speeding up lesser threaded applications. The nice thing about TurboCore is, that it runs independently from the operating system and is co-existing peacefully with Cool'n'Quiet: Three cores are powered up, while the others are idling at 800 MHz at lowered voltages. The power consumption of the whole system stays more or less put.

Thuban test setup
Our Benchmarks where done with a single Phenom II X6 1090T, kindly provided by AMD (we downclocked it for 1075T results. It was resting comfortably in an Asus Crosshair IV Formula, which is the winner of our AM3-roundup. Speaking of this: Most AM3 boards will be able to accomodate for the next sixcore-cpus as long as the mainboard vendor issues an updated BIOS for it.
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T: CPU-Z
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T: CPU-Z [Source: view picture gallery]

Thuban gaming performance
We put AMDs new processors to the test in several recent games and applications and here's the results. Note that you can always take a look at our german website, using your favourite online translator for exact proceedings of the gaming benchmarks done. There are also Youtube videos, illustrating the respective benchmark.
Dawn of Discovery 1404 a.d. takes an advantage at min. fps with six cores sporting your system
Dawn of Discovery 1404 a.d. takes an advantage at min. fps with six cores sporting your system [Source: view picture gallery]

Click to choose app
Summary AMD Phenom II X6 10xxT
AMD just opened a new era - affordable sixcore CPUs for everyone. Whereas Intel keeps the overall performance crown (in fact, also stays king of the hill in most individual benchmarks), they also command a hefty price premium. Whereas, when you look at bang for the buck or the fastest cpu in the sub-300 Euro category, AMD has more to offer. This is especially true when looking at platform upgradeabillity: You can put a Thuban-based sixcore Phenom II in most AM3 boards (updated BIOS provided) and even on a lot of AM2+ boards.

While some of the more expensive Intels quadcore processors can keep up with AMDs sixcore cpus, the future and more threaded applications will shift the bias more toward AMDs offerings, making them even more attractive. AMDs Phenom II X6 10xxT is really putting Intel under pressure.

If you want to know more, please take a look at the slightly more complete german version of this AMD Phenom II X6 1090T and 1055T test over here. You can, of course, use an online translator.
Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)

Author: Gögelein, Spille, Sauter (Apr 27, 2010)

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