Pros: Very fast, six physical cpu cores, lowest cost amongst competition
Mirror, Mirror on the wall which AMD AM3 processor is the fairest of them all? Right now, the AMD 1090T Black Thuban is sir! As soon as I heard that a six core, unlocked processor was on the market I knew I had to buy it to replace my aging Intel Xeon 3.2Ghz 800Mhz FSB 2Mb Cache Processor and ASUS NCCH-DL Motherboard. I was nervous about the low cost because I thought there must be something wrong to get such a rare product at such a low price. After several months of use, I am now prepared to share my opinions with you.
Can the AMD Phenom II x6 really be faster than an Intel Xeon E5450 3.0Ghz 12Mb cache four core processor?
How does the 3.2Ghz AMD 1090T compare to the AMD Athlon 4000+ Socket 939 processor?
Read On To Find Out!
While browsing computer hardware at Amazon.com earlier this year, I found this processor. The listing showed that it had six cores on a single chip and that it had a total of 9 Mb worth of total cache. I was having problems with my SQL Server development box being able to handle the load of my new software packages so I decided I needed this product. A quick search of BestBuy.com revealed that Amazon.com had the best price so I picked it up. The AMD Six Core 1090T Processor came in two days later. Inside the box was the processor, a heat sink, warranty information and a slick little sticker with the text, AMD Phenom II, written on it.
Installation Of The AMD 1090T Black Thurban Processor
First, before you do anything, get a tube of Artic Silver 5 or greater thermal compound and a small plastic baggie. Now spread the thermal grease on the processor and the bottom of the supplied heat sink in a liberal fashion. Lift the retaining handle for the ZIF socket and place the AM3 processor inside and close it again. The cpu should now be resting comfortably on the motherboard. Next, using the supplied AMD x6 1090T cpu cooler, snag the retaining clip on one side and press the other end of the clip on the other. Depress the handle until the heat sink locks and you are done installing your CPU!
Overclocking The AMD x6 1090T AM3 Processor
The primary reason I bought this processor was for its overclocking potential. As manufacturers reduce the die size of these processors and pack in more cpu cores and cache, we are going to see even more potential for extra power through increasing the multiplier or clock frequency. Before you begin tweaking your new AMD 1090T, consider these three variables to get the most for your hard earned dollar.
Overclocking multi-core processors adds a lot of potential power because every 1Mhz of clock speed is multiplied by the number of cores available. As a result, adding 400Mhz to a 6 core processor gives you 2400Mhz of additional computing power.
Overheating Concerns While Overclocking The 1090T
Hitting a peak of 60C or 140F while running benchmarks with the stock AMD CPU cooler and at base frequency of 3.7Ghz, the 1090T is beast the needs to be tamed if you ever wish to reliably overclock it. After searching several hardware vendors, I settled on the Spire TherMax Eclipse II SP984B1-V2 universal CPU Cooler as my solution to the overheating problem. Once installed, I was finally able to overclock the AMD 1090T to 3.9 Ghz with a maximum temperature of 41C or 105F at 100 percent load on all six of the cores. I increased the cpu core and several other voltages way past 1.5 volts but nothing I tried could get this processor stable above 3.9 Ghz on air cooling.
AMD Turbo Core Technology
I am simply not a fan of AMD Turbo Core Technology and am glad you can turn it off in the bios of the ASUS M4A89GTDPRO. The problem is that when overclocked via the multiplier, the 1090T actually throttles the multiplier backwards causing a decrease in frequency. I was getting rather poor times with my Super Pi benchmarks while overclocking and finally realized that the cpu frequency was dropping to 3600Mhz during testing.
The quickest way to overclock the AMD 1090T processor is to simply adjust its multiplier in your system BIOS. The AMD Phenom II x6 1090T will the multiply the current bus speed to get your new core speed frequency. I do not advocate adjusting the bus speed mhz because the Phenom II series of processors show no performance gain with increased memory frequency. I also so no increase in performance speed from increasing the Hyper Transport frequency, even up to 3200 Mhz, I saw no gains in Super Pi, POV Ray or MCS Benchmark rankings.
AMD x6 1090T 3.2Ghz Performance Testing
We are all curious about how fast a processor really is in live situations. I expected the this AMD processor to be fast but was overwhelmed with its multi-core performance when compared to my HP Proliant DL 360 G5 servers!
I installed the AMD 1090T in a ASUS M4A89GTDPRO motherboard because of its generous DDR3 memory bank, six SATA ports and integrated video. For these benchmarks, I set the Corsair PC3-10700H CMX8GX3M4A1600C9 DDR3 RAM to a clock speed of 533 Mhz and used the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition operating system.
Super Pi V1.1 is an application that extrapolates the specified digits of PI into a text file. Since the task is both processor and file system intensive it can give you an idea of how fast your cpu is. Processors with large on-die cache sizes and high bus speeds tend to do better in this benchmark. The problem is the calculation is single threaded in this version so you only see the performance of one processor. The test results are quite impressive for this processor. The Intel Xeon 3.2Ghz 800Mhz FSB 2Mb Cache Processor in a dual cpu configuration on the ASUS NCCH-DL Motherboard was able to complete this benchmark in 39 seconds at stock speeds.
Here are the results of three individual runs at 1,000,000 digits of PI at 3.2 Ghz:
#1; 19 seconds
#2; 19 seconds
Here are the results of three individual runs at 1,000,000 digits of PI at 3.915 Ghz:
#1; 17 seconds
#2; 17 seconds
MCS Benchmark 2008 V6.30
The MCS CPU Benchmark 2008 will test the entire system to give you an overall score based on CPU and file system performance. I used an older version of this software because it has been used on a wide variety of processors for my other reviews. The wide margin between the stock speed and the boosted speed was remarkable. I was able to gain a solid 2300 points worth of power because of the scaling afforded by those six physical cpu cores.
The Intel Xeon 3.2Ghz 800Mhz FSB 2Mb Cache Processor in a dual cpu configuration on the ASUS NCCH-DL Motherboard was able to complete this benchmark with a high score of 5692 at stock speeds. The Intel Xeon E5450 3.0Ghz 12Mb cache four core processor in a dual socket configuration on the HP Proliant DL 360 G5 server was only able to reach a peak result of 23074!
Here are the results of two runs at 3.2 Ghz:
Here are the results of two runs at 3.915 Ghz:
POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 38
A new version of the freeware 3D animation utility has been released that offers SSE2 enhanced processing extensions. POV -Ray stresses the floating point unit and memory bandwidth of the processor to render stunning 2D images. The results were quite amazing and point to the gains found by putting six physical cpu cores on one chip. More than any of the other benchmarks, POV Ray responds quite well to the increased clock frequency of the AMD Phenom II x6. For comparison, the AMD Athlon 4000+ Socket 939 processor was only able to do render this same image in 26 minutes 2 seconds.
Using the benchmark.pov file with QuickRes.ini value of 512x384 NO AA, I ran the following traces at 3.2 Ghz:
#1; 3 minutes 53 seconds
#2; 3 minutes 54 seconds
Using the benchmark.pov file with QuickRes.ini value of 512x384 NO AA, I ran the following traces at 3.915 Ghz:
#1; 3 minutes 24 seconds
#2; 3 minutes 26 seconds
AMD 1090T Specifications
Model Number: HDT90ZFBGRBOX
Code Name: 1090T
Product Name: Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition
Cpu Frequency: 3200Mhz
Physical Cpu Cores: 6
Inefficient Hyperthreading Cores: 0
Level 2 Cache Size: 6 x 512Kb
Level 3 Cache Size: 6Mb
Manufacturing Die: 45 nm
64bit Operating System Support: Yes
Instruction Sets Supported: MMX, 3DNow!, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, Advanced Bit Manipulation, AMD64 technology, Enhanced Virus Protection, Dynamic Acceleration technology
Warranty: 3 years parts and labor limited
I own several socket AM2+ and AM3 motherboards that were able to support this processor. The most important consideration will be your choice of power supply. The AMD 1090T can pull as much as 175 watts when overclocked so make sure your power supply is rated for at least 500 watts so that it can efficiently handle the increased demands of this processor.
Here is a brief list of AMD Phenom II x6 compatible motherboards:
ASUS Crossfire IV Formula AMD 890FX/SB850 Chipset
In the world of computer processors, the AMD x6 1090T with its unlocked multiplier is the one to beat right now. Yes, the Intel Extreme i7 may beat it but that is only marginal when compared to the abusive heat that it puts out. Compared to everything else, including Xeon servers, the AMD Phenom II truly lives up to its name. I recommend purchasing this processor for anyone that likes to play the lastest PC games like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords or Battlefield Bad Company 2. You will be able to supply the graphics engine with all the physics processing power it could ever want while managing a Google Chat session on a second monitor.
Intel should be shaking in their boots right now with the power of the AMD x6 1090T processor and its $300 price point. Later this year or next year in 2011, we are expecting the eight core version of this processor to hit the market for the AM3 socket. The multi-core overclocking possibilities of just this processor alone more than make up for its price when compared to the Intel competition. The best news is that this processor has dropped in price to just below $270 in the past week at many online retailers.
In all I give the AMD x6 1090T Black Edition Processor two thumbs up.