AMD Phenom 9600 Black Edition – A New Hope?

Phenom 9600 BlackEdition

AMD fans that want to overclock their processor can rejoice, as the CPU maker is offering a Black Edition of its current fastest quad-core model. The Black Edition turns the Phenom into a much more attractive CPU for many prospective buyers.

How much overclocking potential does the Black Edition really offer and can the AMD OverDrive tool really deliver on its promise of easy and painless overclocking?

Thanks to the unlocked multiplier on the Black Edition, AMD’s OverDrive overclocking utility can finally be used more sensibly, allowing users to test the limits of their CPU within Windows without needing to reboot for every hanged setting. The unlocked multiplier lets you overclock the CPU without having to raise the motherboard’s FSB or Hypertransport speed. Thus, the board does not have to operate outside of its specifications and remains stable.

The toughest competition in computer stores for AMD’s Phenom processor is Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q6600. Costing about €210, it’s almost identical in price to the Phenom 9600 Black Edition. Thus a good value for money will be decided by the two CPUs’ respective power consumption and their performance.

Phenom 9600 BlackEdition

We overclocked the Phenom 9600 Black Edition to its stable limits and then ran it through our entire benchmark course. It seems like a contradiction that AMD allows buyers to overclock this model to their heart’s content even though it still uses the faulty B2 stepping. After all, AMD decided to delay all processor models running at more than 2.3 GHz due to the TLB bug in this very same stepping. Does this mean that Phenom overclockers are at a higher risk of having their systems become unstable?

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  • mi1ez
    Oh dear...
    This has certainly done them no more favours...
  • Therlian
    This is an embarrassment for AMD. It's actually worse that they released the Black Edition of this processor because it shows that even with all the tricks, AMD is currently not even posing as competition for Intel. I don't know what AMD will be able to do to keep going; it seems like no matter what they try they are still way behind Intel.

    At least when Intel was beating AMD in performance in the early days of the P2, at least AMD was still a viable option because of their price/performance ratio.

    I hope they come up with something though; I don't want Intel to be the only product and raise their prices.
  • darthpoik
    Poor AMD. I liked you a lot but Intel are truly kicking your butts. Hopefully this is just a Rocky feint and they will be back with a vengence soon