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Product Application:

Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition
Product Provided by: AMD

Available at:

Estimated Online Price:

$275 (Tray Unit Price)



Review by:


Edited by:


Review date:

January 8th, 2009

Crucial System Scanner

For a very long time, being an overclocker meant owning an AMD CPU.  Cheap prices, good performance, and easy overclocking put AMD as the favorite son for many overclockers.  However, in 2006, Intel released the popular Core 2 series, and it has put the hurt on AMD ever since.  In 2007, AMD launched the much anticipated Phenom processor; however bugs upon launch and poor overclocking headroom did little to bring overclockers back from the Intel camp. 

If computing history tells us anything, it is that while sometimes AMD is down, it is never out.  It is with this spirit that brings us our next review, for AMD has launched their next generation CPU, the Phenom II.  Is this the beginning of AMD's comeback, or will overclockers be left wanting?  Read on to find out!


The Phenom II X4 Black Edition replaces the Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition as the flagship of AMD's lineup.  As such, the Phenom II includes a host of enhancements over the previous generation:

  • 45nm process geometry

  • Larger cache sizes

  • Cool'n'Quiet 3.0 Technology adds more power states which translates into up to 40% lower idle power consumption and lower power consumption under moderate loads

  • Higher frequencies at the same TDP

  • Elimination of the cold bug allows for more overclocking headroom at extreme low temperatures

  • L3 cache is now 2 cycles faster than the previous generation

  • Increased DRAM bandwidth

  • Cache flush on halt allows each core's L1 and L2 flush into shared L3 after a core enters a halt state allowing the core to drop to a lower speed and save power

  • Path based indirect branch prediction

  • 2x increase in core probe bandwidth

  • Larger load/store buffering / larger floating point buffering / reduced MAB (missed buffer) lifetime

  • Improved LOCK pipelineing (an instruction prefix) improves performance when multiple LOCKS are in process simultaneously

  • FP MOV compute optimization: Floating point register-to-register move instruction improvements


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