Our Score


Review Price £106.97

Ah, encoding MP3s. No matter how many advances there have been in audio formats and even with the proliferation of online music services, encoding our audio CDs into MP3s is still a stalwart of a computer's regular tasks. So, let's see how the Phenom II holds up.

Singe-track, single-thread encoding

It's the way it always used to be done. One track after another until the album's finished. For this test we encode 11 tracks using the LAME encoder.

Single-track, multi-threaded

A slight improvement over single-threaded encoding, this method will take advantage of multiple cores for each track it is currently encoding. This test encodes the same 11 tracks and uses the multi-threaded version of LAME.

Multi-track, multi-threaded

Finally, we have the quickest method; encoding as many mp3s at once as there are cores. We used DBPowerAmp's benchmark to load as many cores, or virtual cores in the case of i7, as possible.

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April 23, 2009, 7:51 pm

Looks good. FYI all the charts in your review say 810 not 955 Black Ed.


April 23, 2009, 8:05 pm

Cheers, I think they should all be fixed by now.


April 23, 2009, 9:27 pm

no conclusion!?

aww :(


April 23, 2009, 9:33 pm

You're right, we only did a 'verdict' on page 3. My bad. ;)


April 24, 2009, 1:18 am

Talk about wanting it on a plate! Overclocking used to be a bit of a black art. Soldering resistors, joining tiny bridges with conductive paint, using the right memory and tinkering with timings and voltages, fiddling with motherboard jumpers, flatting/polishing the cpu heatspreader and huge heatsink, screaming fans, all to get a few extra Mhz. I sweated blood to get a P75 running at 90Mhz on an Asus CUSL2 !

You guys get 3.8Ghz (nearly a 20% overclock) at stock voltage without lifting a finger and moan about it. How hard could it be to raise the voltage 0.1V to see if it would hit 4Ghz? Or more.

Other than that good cpu and great review ;)


April 24, 2009, 1:40 pm

As I explained, the system was essentially dead after some initial attempts and due to time constraints we weren't able to recover it for another run. Reading around, these will easily hit 3.8 on stock voltages, and are reasonably likely to reach 4 with a bit of extra voltage. Beyond that you need some serious cooling.

Nevertheless, the point I was making was that the 3.2 to 3.8 overclock we achieved was lower than the 2.8 to 3.41 we achieved with the Q9550 (both without changing any voltages) - a CPU that proved to be generally faster despite its lower clock speed. So the overclocking potential of the 955BE has to be taken with a pinch of salt.


May 16, 2009, 7:47 pm

I belive there is missclick - should be 6mb L3 cache instead of 2mb on page 1.

May i ask about cooling? Did you use components included in box or add your own cpu cooling? Was thermal paste included in box? What was temperature when oc to 3.8?

tartempion & Co

September 27, 2015, 7:07 am

i stil use it, very powerfull !

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