facebook rss twitter

Review: AMD Phenom 9900, and the Spider Platform

by Tarinder Sandhu on 7 December 2007, 08:07


Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qakmy

Add to My Vault: x

AMD Phenom 9900

We've covered the quad-core Phenom architecture in detail right over here, and we urge to you take a look if you want to appreciate what makes the quad-core Phenom tick along with a better clock-for-clock performance than the dual-core Athlon 64 X2.

The fastest Phenom processor to date, yessir, but it's an unreleased version that will be shipping in Q1 2008 with an estimated UK price-tag of £199

The same as any other AM2(+) CPU.

Facts and figures

Processors Clock speed L2 cache (total) L3 cache Voltage TDP Price
AMD Phenom 9900 2.6GHz 2MiB 2MiB 1.3V up to 140W £199 in Q1 2008
AMD Phenom 9700 2.4GHz 2MiB 2MiB 1.25V 125W N/A, Q1 2008
AMD Phenom 9600 2.3GHz 2MiB 2MiB 1.2V 95W £180
AMD Phenom 9500 2.2GHz 2MiB 2MiB 1.2V 95W £160

Here's our engineering-sample Phenom 9900 processor in CPU-Z.

Processor name AMD Phenom 9900 AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400+ Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 Intel Core 2 Duo E6850
Form factor AM2+ (940-pin) AM2 (940-pin) LGA775 LGA775
Manufacturing process 65nm 90nm 65nm 65nm
Die size 285mm² 219mm² 286mm² (2 x 143mm) 143mm²
Transistors 450m 243m 582m 291m
Physical cores 4 2 4 2
Inst. per clock 3 3 4 4
Pipeline stages 12 12 14 14
Clock speed 2.6GHz 3.2GHz 2.67GHz 3.0GHz
FSB/HT clock 200MHz 200MHz 266MHz (1066MHz QDR) 333MHz (1333MHz QDR)
Memory support DDR2, 1066MHz, DC, ganged, un-ganged DDR2, 800MHz, DC DDR2/3, 1066MHz/1333MHz, DC DDR2/3, 1066MHz/1333MHz, DC
L1 cache total 128KiB data + 128KiB code 128KiB data + 128KiB code 128KiB data + 128KiB code 64KiB data + 64KiB code
L2 cache total 2MiB (512Kib per core) 2MiB 8MiB 4MiB
L3 cache 2MiB N/A N/A N/A
ISA x86, x86-64, SSE-SSE4a x86, x86-64, SSE-SSE3 x86, x86-64, SSE-SSSE3 x86, x86-64, SSE-SSSE3
TDP 125W 125W 95W 65W
Operating voltage 1.3V 1.3-1.35V 0.85-1.5V 0.85-1.5V
Current price £199 in Q1 2008 £119 £330 now (£199 in Q1 2008?) £165

We've included the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 processor as that's closest in clockspeed to the AMD Phenom 9900. We fully appreciate that AMD's pricing is based upon release in Q1 2008. As a result, we expect the Core 2 Quad Q6700's to fall in line with AMD's projected 1000-unit pricing.


The processor that should have been launched and made available on launch day, the Phenom 9900 should provide the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 a decent run for its money. Note the use of the conditional tense?

But the processor is only one part of the Spider triumvirate. Let's hop on to the AMD-supplied system now.