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back to article AMD Phenom 9500 processor

Throughout last year, we ran a steady stream of news about the AMD’s Phenom quad-core processor, mainly because the chip was delayed. When the launch finally took place, AMD took us to Warsaw where we were told again and again about the virtues of its Spider platform: a combination of a Phenom processor, a motherboard with an …

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Coat

5 pages of detail, and all I have to say is...

... sounds like the chemical in that great animal magnetism product: Spanish Fly

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Price?

The price of the Phenom 9500 is now around 130, while the Q6600 is about 165. What would your conclusion on value for money be, based on these current prices?

Sorry for being picky, but you have used "it’s" where "its" was required - see your penultimate paragraph.

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Unhappy

Where did it all go wrong?

I generally do a full system rebuild every 2 to 3 years, and I haven't chosen Intel in over a decade.

Socket A was a PC-builders dream - I felt that AMD was listening to the market and supplying chips that worked with everyone's current hardware (unlike Intel and their Slot debacle).

Then, in early 2005 I went socket 939 with an Athlon 64, thinking that the upgrade-path would be similar to socket A, but was stung less than a year later when AM2 came out (with announcements of AM2+ soon after).

Core 2 then came and made a huge splash (at which point I was on a 939 X2), but I ignored it thinking that AMDs promised quad-cores for the AM2+/AM3 platform would put them back on top in the usual leap-frogging manoeuvre.

Oh how wrong I was. As soon as it was clear Phenom didn't match expectations, I jumped ship to a Core 2 Quad on 775.

I'd like to have stayed with AMD because of past experiences, but I'm not going to do it out of sheer loyalty - they need to prove they're worth my money.

So, AMD, where did it all go wrong?

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Bronze badge

Hmmmm

Other people seem to have had more luck over-clocking than you. I can't see why though.

I understand that most desktop applications don't benefit from multi cores due to their single threaded nature. I'd be interested to know if that was more true on Windows than Linux (without starting a fight :) ).

I'd also be interested to see benchmarks for something like Sybase or DB2 which are multi-threaded and scale well on four or more physical CPUs. Do you get better transaction throughput with, let's say 200 users with AMD's latest and greatest or are you better off with Intel's solution?

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Coat

@Rik - sorry for being picky....

... but "its" is correct in this context as it represents "it" in its (sic! :) ) possessive form. "It's" is a contraction of "it is" and thus not applicable in this case.

I'll get me coat!

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feedback

Rik

ref it's and its, I did indeed get it wrong. As for Intel vs AMD I'm hard-pressed to think of any reason not to go down the Q6600 route and the small matter of £35 wouldn't make much difference.

Ian

The wheels fell off the AMD wagon when Intel came back fighting with Core 2 and Athlon 64 was at the end of its development. There's a big gotcha to watch out for with Intel which is the fact that all the processers use the LGA775 socket but you need the right chipset. For instance P35 supports 1,333MHz FSB but may or may not support 1,600MHz and has dubious CrossFire support and you can bet that P45 will also look great at launch and will then quickly look a bit old.

Matt

Don't your suggestions apply to Zeon and Opteron rather than the desktop?

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@matt

From what I've seen about Phenom, the 9600 is the better option if you want to overclock.

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Pov-Ray

Povray 3.7 is still in beta. I don't think you can rely on its results too much, multi-threading is the main feature being added to 3.7.

I also notice you wrote "Second. the 2.4GHz CPU hadn’t been released so there didn't seem much point in reviewing this model", but then you appear to have tested it anyway. Odd.

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Boffin

Threaded apps

Hi Matt

You generally need a multi-threaded OS to get some advantage, which NT, 2K, XP and Vista all are. You're never running just one application, so it still helps (hefty app can hog one core while leaving the other one for the other things running, i.e. the OS!). But more and more apps are coming along that know how to multi-thread and spread the load

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Unhappy

Another review biased for Intel from the start

Hi, I seen the bench marks, still not going with Intel. I will not deal with a company involved in antitrust issues. Yes I know, I am a reseller for 10 years. AMD will be on 45nm soon anyway. I laughed when I saw how Intel made there "quad core" two duels....

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Poor AMD....

I had been using them for ten years now, the K6's, Athlons, all great. Up until recently they produced brilliant chips at a brilliant price. Then came the Core 2 and it was an utter empire strikes back moment, and since then AMD haven't had an answer. I may of been said to of been a bit of an AMD fan through the last ten years, but even I moved to the Core 2 and it's been incredible (unlike how utterly dreadful the P4's were). AMD really need to so something as currently they just can't answer the Core 2's. Intel seems to have the performance edge well in the bag currently, and with plenty of room to take the CPU's also. Poor AMD :(

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Happy

There is nothing phenomenal with Phenom.

Indeed David (AMD Athlon 64/X2) kicked Goliath (Intel - Netburst).

But now David 2.0 (Phenom) can't do that anymore and the chip giant is still on the lead... pounding poor little AMD. David 1.0 can even beat David 2.0.

Thus, there's really nothing phenomenal with the Phenom.

We all know that despite Intel processors are still on FSB and separate memory controller hub, beats AMD in overall aspects. Imagine what Intel "Nehalem" can do more with its hypertransport-like bus and integrated memory controller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalem_%28CPU_architecture%29 .

As for me, I will use AMD for budget reasons, and definitely go Intel for performance. Cheers to all! 8)

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Upgrading from Athlon XP3200 - Is AMD any good nowadays?

Hi I have had and still got my trusty Athlon XP 3200 that I have used for virtually everything for the past few years, but a recent mainboard failure (Soltek Nforce 2 400 ultra type) left me finding replacements hard to find. I found only on'new' or unused Nforce 2 400 mobo on sale on Ebay which I was lucky to win - or daft enough to bid high enough for!

Anyways I decided that its time to move game playing from the XP machine and build a new one.

But reading reviews and so on its not clear whats any good these days. Intel or AMD, but whats bugging me is the AMD seem to swap sockets after only a brief time - one socket seems to be just a partial change to yet another. I think that phrase 'Futureproof' must be some joke!

What I'm considering is a small form case MATX mobo, single HD (sata), graphics card (doh), sound card, memory 2 -4 gb,one dvd rom/writer. Inshort this machine is for games only and the more serious stuff I'm leaving to my newly repaired Athlon XP3200 machine, the Radeon X800XL Agp card might as well stay there too I feel.

My problem is Intel or Amd? Once it was clear, AMD were cheaper and offered performance that more often than not beat Intel hands down - but today it is so unclear! Even prices seem muddy and as for chipsets too!!!

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