Behind the scenes of Analyst Day 2008 (held on November 13), AMD decided to execute hard and unpopular political decision. The company decided to help the bottom line by leaving the Q4 desktop and notebook market to Intel, and focus on server/workstation markets.
AMD decided to postpone 45nm desktop chip (Deneb, e.g. Phenom II) for hard launch on January 8, 2009 – first day of CES 2009. This way, complete 45nm production in 2008 will be branded as Opterons and target higher ASPs.
But don’t think for a second that AMD decided to drop the towel on desktop market: Deneb and Deneb FX are turning to be something really special. Unlike current batch of 65nm processors, Phenom II will come to market with 50% overclocking headroom, if you obey the essential rules of overclocking. In fact, Phenom II will probably be the most overclockable processor AMD released to market in the past eight years.
According to our information, Phenom lineup will consist of following:
January 8, 2009:
Phenom II X4 920 – 2.8 GHz, 4-Core, 2MB L2+6MB L3
Phenom II X4 940 Black – 3.0 GHz Unlocked, 4-Core, 2MB L2+6MB L3
February 13, 2009:
Phenom II X3 710 – 2.6 GHz, 3-Core, 1.5MB L2+6MB L3
Phenom II X3 720 Black – 2.8 GHz Unlocked, 3-Core, 1.5MB L2+6MB L3
Phenom II X4 805 – 2.5 GHz, 4-Core, 2MB L2+4MB L3
Phenom II X4 810 – 2.6 GHz, 4-Core, 2MB L2+4MB L3
Phenom II X4 910 – 2.6 GHz, 4-Core, 2MB L2+6MB L3
Phenom II X4 925 – 2.8 GHz, 4-Core, 2MB L2+6MB L3
Quad-Core processors are known under codename Deneb (Black Edition Parts are
The difference between January and February parts also lies in the processor socket. Phenom II 920 and 940 are the last exclusive AM2+ parts, while all processors launched from February onwards will support AM2+ and new AM3 socket. The difference between the two is very simple: AM2+ works with DDR2-1066 memory, while AM3 introduces DDR3-1333 and begins AMD’s migration to DDR3 memory standard.
But two processors that will sit nicely with enthusiasts are Phenom II 720 Black and 940 Black. First one is unlocked 3-Core processor, while 940 is the quad-core beast. Both should be easily overclockable to 4.0 GHz using nothing else but premium air-coolers, while select CPUs will see more than 4.5 GHz when using water-cooling. This brings out memories of legendary Celeron 300A, who was overclocked by 50% (to 450 MHz) with no questions asked 😉
According to our sources, AMD worked with some selected enthusiasts to enable LN2 cooling as well and the CPUs should not suffer from “cold bug”. Does this means we’ll start seeing 5GHz+ clocks on AMD processors as well? Only time will tell.
For now, all that we can do is wait and see can AMD get back in the game or not. Judging by our sources, ATI guys are making great changes inside the company and changing the product line-up in ways that old AMD would never think of.
“Spider” platform will be replaced with Dragon, introducing AM3 and DDR3-1333 support. Of course, you can expect that DDR3-1333 is only “on paper” support, since we have received information about DDR3-1600 and even DDR3-1866 working on prototype motherboards from a very-well known AMD partner.