Some things never change. Much like how the pope continues his war on secularism or how the stabilisation of Iraq/Afghanistan remains as “work in progress”, AMD and Intel’s cat and mouse game continues yet again.
Two to three years is a little too long to wait for a new range of processors to arrive. As we all know, manufacturers such as AMD and Intel try to keep their products fresh by tweaking existing models and releasing new models every now and then. Small price drops, mild frequency increases go a long way towards maintaining consumer interest and preventing the market from getting a little too stagnant.
Recently Intel refreshed their range of processors, by replacing the Core i7 930 with the (previously) more expensive i7 950 and throwing out an updating quad core for the mid range segment; the Core i5 760. Of course this made AMD's lineup a little less appealing. As such, it was only a matter of time that the team dressed in green returned with something new. Aside a couple of price drops and the introduction of a new Dual Core Phenom II, AMD decided to take a pot shot at the Core i5 760/Core i7 860 price segment with a new Hex Core model. That's right folks, today we will be reviewing the Phenom II X6 1075T.
|AMD Phenom II X6 1055T ||AMD Phenom II X6 1075T||AMD Phenom II X6 1090T|
|Core Frequency ||2800MHz||3000MHz||3200MHz|
|Turbo Frequency ||3300MHz||3500MHz||3600MHz|
|IMC Frequency ||2000MHz||2000MHz||2000MHz|
|Multiplier Unlocked ||Downwards Only||Downwards Only||Yes|
|Current Price ||£158||Estimated ~£185||£215|
So in a nutshell, the 1075T has bridged the gap between the 1055T and 1090T BE. But does it represent good value? Let's find out.
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T 3.00GHz Processor
Asus Crosshair IV Formula Motherboard
Corsair Dominator GT 4GB 2000mhz
ATi Radeon HD 5870 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card
Corsair AX1200w PSU
Windows 7 Home Premium x64
Today, many of AMD's mid range processors wear the Black Edition badge, but sadly the 1075T does not. However, with its higher (than 1055T) multiplier, is a fully unlocked multiplier range necessary?
In our case, not really. Armed with our trusty Crosshair IV we steadily worked our way upwards with a variety of different CPU Multi and Base HTT combinations.
On the way we were able to obtain very respectable memory frequencies with the 1075T's IMC. Our sample pushed our RAM to 1920MHz, which is quite impressive for Phenom II. While we were at it, we also tried to push base HTT and IMC frequencies for all they were worth, reaching a maximum of 3100MHz.
While high overall HTT frequencies aren't all that important, I would very much like to stress how imperative it is to ramp up NB (IMC) frequencies as you overclock your Phenom II processor. It has a significant impact on memory bandwidth and often translates to performance differences in real life applications.
I know I'm beginning to digress so I'll get to the point. Having played with Max HTT/NB/Memory, we then went on to determine the maximum processor frequency of 4200MHz (300 x 14). Sadly this wasn't quite as stable as we hoped, but after some further refinement we found ourselves at an impressive (and honest) 4.075GHz overclock; just over 1GHz over its default frequency.
As you can see, this was achieved without pushing over the (warm) 1.50V mark. If you are the sort of person that thinks that stability tests such as OCCT, LinX, Prime95 are excessive, then perhaps our maximum frequency could be achieved with a lower voltage, but we would rather do things the proper way.
If we could assert that all 1075T's could overclock in the region of 4.10GHz (like this one), then in our eyes there is little reason to invest extra funds towards the range topping 1090T.
With a stable overclock determined, it is now time to get testing.
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility capable of benchmarking the performance of individual components inside a PC.
The CPU arithmetic test ascertains the processor's capabilities in terms of numerical operations. Two subtests named Dhrystone and Whetstone are carried out respectively. This is not a measure of latency and thus higher is better.
Stock for stock, the 1090T kicks off with a marginal lead, while of course the overclocked 1075T turns the tables, leaving the range topping unit for dead.
The CPU Multimedia Test focuses on CPU based operations that may occur during multimedia based tasks. The magnitude of the score depends on the processor's ability to handle Integer, Float and Double data types
Nothing too dissimilar here as we conclude our tests with SiSoft Sandra. Do you see £30's worth of performance gains between the two processors? Hold onto your opinions for now.
CPU Queen is based on branch prediction and the misprediction penalties that are involved.
Some very competitive scores being generated here. Once again, the 1075T clings onto the 1090T with little trouble.
PhotoWorxx as the name may suggest tests processors by means of invoking functions that are common to Photo Manipulation including Fill, Flip, Crop, Rotate, Difference and Colour to B&W conversion.
The Photoworxx test offers a similar outcome.
This is an integer based benchmark that will test the CPU and Memory by means of the CPU ZLib compression library.
Zlib's operations in particular appear to really leverage the additional power that the overclocked 1075T offers, pushing well ahead of both stock processors.
The latest iteration of Cinebench's rendering benchmark takes greater advantage of multiple cores. With this in mind, what better way to test a processor with no less than six cores?
For reference, the stock frequency scores of the 1075T and 1090T place themselves roughly in the ball park of Core i7 860/930 processors. This is most certainly the anticipated performance level given its price tag, although a heavy overclock makes a significant difference.
Persistence Of Vision RAYtracer is an application for creating three dimensional graphics. Within the program is a very popular benchmark that measures the processor's ability to render such images.
A similar picture is painted for PovRay.
PCMark Vantage is Futuremark's flagship "System Wide" benchmark. With a large focus on day to day operations, it's an excellent means of judging the capability of a computer as a whole.
Again, the achieved PC Mark Vantage scores are very much in line for systems of this calibre.
Passmark paints a picture about the system as a whole by testing processor, memory, hard disk drive, optical drive and graphics card.
Passmark offers a similar point of view, however we remain a little stumped by the low 3D Graphics value generated by the overclocked Phenom II. Regardless, it still came out on top overall.
3DMark Vantage is Futuremarks flagship gaming oriented benchmark at present and is considered to be a demanding one at that. Our tests were carried out under the "Performance" prefix.
The 1GHz overclock across six cores has a profound effect on most of 3DMark Vantage's tests.
Crysis Warhead is without a doubt one hard nut to crack, especially at higher resolutions. How will the 1075T take to the game?
The level of GPU dependency in Crysis Warhead means that not even a hefty overclock will have an effect on framerates.
Mafia 2 is a recent action-adventure game. With plenty of eyecandy we were keen to see how well it would perform on our Socket AM3 testbed.
Mafia 2 on the other hand seemed to benefit slightly from a faster CPU, but with framerates such as these the difference is not noticeable.
Metro 2033, often nicknamed as nVidia-2033 often exhibits favourable performance on otherwise equivalent nVidia graphics cards. Regardless, as it is another popular game we were curious to see if a 1GHz boost in core frequency would push those framerates out of the gutter.
Wishful thinking at its best I'm afraid. Oh well, let's wrap this one up.
Let's be honest here. What's not to like about the new Phenom II X6 1075T?
Quite predictably, yes the new 1075T is slower than its 200MHz more frequent sibling but barely by much if our results are anything to go by. Not only is the 1075T as much as £30 more affordable than the flagship 1090T, it also overclocks similarly and is no less/more of a power hog.
Really, the sole pitfall of the 1075T is the lack of an unlocked CPU Multiplier range. However, its multiplier of 15x means that motherboards are less likely to hold this particular processor back. On the basis that most Phenom II's overclock sweetspot is around the 4.00GHz mark, you would hope to be able to heighten its base HTT from its nominal 200MHz to the region of 270MHz. A large number of motherboards can achieve this with ease, but as always there is a risk that it will not. That would be disastrous...
Let's just assert for now that the 1075T is the pick of the bunch. Is AMD a worthy route to follow in favour of a similarly priced Core i5/i7 system?
At around £185, the new 1075T sits just £30 above the recently reviewed Core i5 760 processor and £20-30 cheaper than the hyperthreading enabled Core i7 950. On the basis that both this processor and the 1090T perform in a similar ball park to the Core i7 930/950 and boasts lower platform costs than the mighty X58, then yes the Socket AM3 platform continues to represent great value for money. Of course, this argument is more or less void if you were to go out and drop upwards of £175 on an ultra high end 890FX motherboard.
Ultimately ones ideal processor will depend heavily on the programs they use. So long as you use a variety of heavily multithreaded programs, then the Phenom II X6 can hold its own against much of the Core i7 range with relative ease. However, nothing escapes the sad fact that its K10 architecture has a fair performance deficit (clock per clock) when compared to the Core i7 range and thus will fall behind in less multithreaded applications.
We believe the 1075T offers great performance at a competitive price point. The processor's locked multipliers mean that it is more likely to attract those who don't intend on heavy overclocking, but we have already determined that with the right motherboard it will see frequencies just as high as the 1090T.
All in all, a solid product. Great performance, great price, but if you want to guarantee a large overclock, then you will need to either invest in a trusted motherboard or perhaps the 1090T Black Edition instead.
- Overclocking Potential
- Reasonable Heat Output
Thanks to AMD for sending us the 1075T today, you can discuss our thoughts in the forums.