Recently, the Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition’s price was reduced from AMD’s typical top-processor price of $265 down to $235. Usually a move such as this indicates something new is on the way, and this price drop was no exception. Today AMD has released a new flagship processor: the Phenom II x6 1100T Black Edition.
As with the previous AMD CPU refresh, the Phenom II x6 1100T Black is a slight speed bump from the 1090T. The base clock speed has been bumped up to 3.3GHz (16.5*200MHz) with TurboCORE speeds of up to 3.7GHz. Everything else is the same as the other Thuban-based Phenom II processors: 3MB L2 cache, 6MB L3 cache, 125W TDP, 45nm process…you get the idea.
In addition to the X6 1100T, two additional CPUs have been released today: the Phenom II x2 565 Black Edition (3.4GHz, $112), and Athlon II x3 455 (3.3GHz, $87).
|Component||AMD System||Intel System|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P||ECS P55H-AK Black|
|CPU||Phenom II X6 1100T Black (3.3GHz/3.7GHz)
Phenom II X6 1075T (3.0GHz/3.5GHz)
Phenom II X4 970 Black (3.5GHz)
Athlon II X4 645 (3.1GHz)
|Core i7 870 (2.93GHz, HT)|
|RAM||Corsair XMS3-1600 4GB||Corsair XMS3-1600 4GB|
|Heatsink||Noctua NH-D14||Noctua NH-D14|
|Hard drive||WD Caviar Blue 320GB 7200RPM||WD Caviar Blue 320GB 7200RPM|
|GPU||Radeon 4850||Radeon 4850|
|Case||Thermaltake Armor A90||Thermaltake Armor A90|
To avoid some really repetitive text, I’m going to sum up the synthetic benchmark results here and let the charts provide the details. As expected the x6 1100T scores are ten percent higher than the 1075T; this falls right in line with the speed difference between the two processors. And for the most part, Intel outpaces AMD. There are a few exceptions where AMD gains a slight advantage, but those are some isolated cases.
MP3 encoding is a single-threaded task that shows the benefit of TurboCORE. Thanks to TurboCORE the 1100T’s clock speed is ramped up to 3.7GHz, which is enough to outpace the otherwise faster-clocked x4 970. It still can’t touch the Core i7 870 though.
H.264 encoding depends heavily on core/thread count, something that the 1100T can deliver. This time around it even edges out the Core i7 870.
As usual, game performance is tied more to the GPU than it is the CPU. The difference in performance between all of these processors isn’t enough to make or break a gaming experience, and this won’t change until games really start to take advantage of multi-threaded programming techniques. Any of these CPUs would be fine for gaming given a sufficiently powerful GPU.
So there you have it. AMD’s new flagship CPU is able to mostly keep pace with (and sometimes slip past) Intel’s top LGA1156 CPU. Normally this would get a recommendation, but it just isn’t the case this time. Why? Bulldozer and Sandy Bridge are coming next year; the former will be released at CES in January and the latter is expected some time next year (possibly the first half). Nobody but Intel and AMD knows how their new platforms will perform right now (officially anyway), but it’s a pretty safe to bet the answer will be better than what’s currently available.
Where does that leave the Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition? Well, if you absolutely have to have a new system right now and cannot wait for either of the new platforms, it’s still a tough call. For a few dollars more you can get an Intel CPU that will be (worst case) just barely slower but most of the time is faster than any desktop CPU AMD offers. If you’re dead set on building a new AMD system with a six-core CPU, the 1075T or 1090T Black Edition still offer better price/performance ratios. In the latter’s case, a simple multiplier adjustment will provide the exact same performance as the new 1100T.
Of course, there are always enthusiasts who insist on having the best possible hardware for their chosen platform. For those people the Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition will be a natural choice. Everyone else will probably look to lower priced models, competing platforms, or simply wait for the next great thing to come along.