AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition - Test Setup

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Testing was carried out on an Asus M4A79T motherboard using 2GB 1,333MHz Qimonda DDR3 memory and an ATI HD 4870 X2 graphics card. This same graphics card and memory was then used in our Core i7 and Core 2 test beds, the details of which are listed below.

Common System Components

AMD ATI Radeon 4870 X2 Graphics Card

Western Digital Raptor X 150GB Hard Drive

Pioneer BDC-S02BK Blu-ray Drive

Core i7 Test System

Intel DX58SO SmackOver Motherboard

2 x 1GB Qimonda IMSH1GU03A1F1C-10F PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM

Core 2 test System

Asus P5E3 Motherboard

2 x 1GB Qimonda IMSH1GU03A1F1C-10F PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM

AMD Phenom II AM3 Test System

Asus M4A79T Deluxe Motherboard

2 x 1GB Qimonda IMSH1GU03A1F1C-10F PC3-8500 DDR3 RAM

Despite this chip being relatively modestly priced, this is still AMD's best CPU so we've included results for Intel's best two CPUs as well, the Core i7 965 Extreme Edition and Core 2 QX9770 Extreme Edition. We've also included figures for the more sensibly priced Core i7 920, which is available for around £250 and the Core 2 Q9550 that's this CPU's most direct competitor at around £210.

As well as the competition from Intel we've also got results for a previous generation Phenom (no longer available), the 9950 Black Edition and the 2.6GHz Phenom II X4 810, available for £150, and the phenomenal (sic) Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition that's just £120.

We've done our usual round of mainly 'real-world' benchmarks that test a CPU's ability to actually do some of the things we expect you to do. This includes photo editing, video transcoding, playing games, and converting mp3s. For the 3D rendering testing we have had to resort to using 'canned' benchmarks but we feel they are valued industry-standard performance indicators.

Along the way we've also recorded the power consumption of the processors both when idling and when performing the multithreaded test in Cinebench.


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?

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