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Technical Details

AMD Phenom II X4: 45nm Benchmarked
By , Frank Voelkel

In switching its production processes over from 65 nm to 45 nm, AMD was able to increase the transistor count in the chip core markedly, while reducing the surface area of the die from 285 mm2 down to 258mm2. Its overall device count went from roughly 450 million to 758 million.

Beyond simply shrinking the transistors in its Phenom II core, AMD made some notable silicon enhancements that, individually might not be game-changers, but cumulatively enable some of the performance and efficiency increases we'll be exploring further in this story. Most obvious is the 45 nm immersion lithography that minimizes current leakage. The L3 cache, which is up to 6 MB from 2 MB, is also two cycles faster than the previous generation's L3. 

In light of AMD's Cool'n'Quiet 3.0 enhancements, which introduce extra power states and slash idle power (more on that shortly), each core's L1 and L2 caches now flush into the shared L3 after the core enters a halt state, allowing lower speeds. Our sample quickly scaled down to 800 MHz during periods of inactivity.

Finally, improved brach prediction, bigger buffers, and optimizations to the way certain instructions execute also give Phenom II significant advantages over the older Phenom.

CPU Model
Athlon X2
Phenom
Phenom II
Dimensions
230 mm2285 mm2258 mm2
Transistor Count
227 M
450 M
758


The following table compares technical details of processors from both AMD and Intel:


AMD Phenom
AMD Phenom II
Intel Core i7
Intel Core 2
Core
Agena / Toliman
Deneb
Bloomfield
Yorkfield / Wolfdale / Kentsfield / Conroe / Allendale
Manufacturing Process
65 nm
45 nm
45 nm
65 nm, 45 nm
Top Clock Speed
2.6 GHz
3.0 GHz
3.2 GHz
3.2 GHz
L1 Cache
64 + 64 KB
64 + 64 KB
32 + 32 KB
32 + 32 KB
L2 Cache
512 KB
512 KB
256 KB
4 MB
L3 Cache
2 MB
6 MB
8 MB
N/A
Max Power (TDP)
140 W
125 W
136 W
136 W
CPU <-> Northbridge
HyperTransport
HyperTransport
Quick Path Interconnect
Front Side Bus
CPU <-> CPU
HyperTransportHyperTransport
Quick Path Interconnect
Northbridge Internal
Max Clock
3.2 GHz (25.6 GB/s)3.2 GHz (25.6 GB/s)6.4 GT/s (12.8 GB/s) 400 MHz (12.8 GB/s)
Min Clock
800 MHz (6.4 GB/s) 800 MHz (6.4 GB/s) 4.8 GT/s (9.0 GB/s) 200 MHz (6.4 GB/s)
Reference Clock
200 MHz
200 MHz
133 MHz
400 MHz, 333 MHz, 266 MHz, 200 MHz
64-bit Support
x86-64
x86-64
EM64T
EM64T
Hyper-Threading
N/A
N/A
Yes
N/A
Multimedia Extensions
MMX 3DNow! SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSE 4a MMX 3DNow! SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSE 4a MMX SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSSE3 SSE4.1 SSE 4.2 MMX SSE SSE2 SSE3 SSSE3 SSE4.1
Virtualization
Pacifica
Pacifica
VT
VT
Energy Saving
Cool’n’QuietCool’n’Quiet 3.0
Enchanced Halt State (C1E), SpeedStepEnchanced Halt State (C1E), SpeedStep
Thermal Protection
Thermal Diode
Thermal Diode
Thermal Monitor 2
Thermal Monitor 2
Virus Protection
XD bit
XD bit
XD bit
XD bit
Trusted Execution
Presidio
Presidio
LaGrande Technology
LaGrande Technology
Active Management
No
No
iAMT2 (V-Pro) iAMT2 (V-Pro)


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