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Phenom - is it good?

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#1
Phenom - performance and power consumption?

Hi guys, :)

I am leaning towards Phenom for my new rig and I recently learned that AMD Phenom is much better CPU than currently presented by various websites. This is how I understood the problems: main problem lies within Cool & Quiet technology and motherboard manufacturers not implementing all of the features for Phenom and this impacts its performance and power efficiency.


1. About Phenom low performance:

There are indications that software which is controlling Phenom power state is broken. This problem is more evident in Vista than in XP. When CnQ is enabled and test are conducted on a Phenom, the end results are not always consistent. This was discovered by anandtech, read article here. This unusual behavior is furthermore explained here. If someone knows more details about this behavior and how to resolve this problem will be very helpful.
Is it the only solution for now to turn of CnQ? Who is to blame for this performance issue?


2. About Phenom low power efficiency:
I always do care about power dissipation and I love when computer runs cool. I was wondering why is Phenom consuming so much power in idle. So I went to some hardware forums and start asking people about min P-state of Phenom CPUs.

Quote from: http://forums.amd.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=318&threadid=98702&forumid=1
Its measured power is dependent on the motherboard VRM efficiency and quality since many have poor quality but typically in our data center measurements, it will consume 15 - 35W in idle with CnQ activated and 95 - 109W full load at approximately 65 - 80% full load VRM efficiency. In idle the VRM efficiency is at 50 - 85% range at best with our measurement figures. The core power consumption in idle depends on the motherboard in question, if it implements AM2+ PSI specification support. That reduces low load operation power consumption quite well.
Since my nephew demonstrated to our work department that AMD Phenom processors can run lower in. P-State voltage and frequencies through CPU MSR tweaking, we've been running Min. P-State at 0.84v 800 MHz on all Phenom processors we have that are not at high loads constantly. The power requirement at that setting for Phenom B3 stepping 9850 and 9950 processors is approximately 9W using motherboards with AM2+ PSI specification support and 18W with motherboards without the AM2+ PSI specification support.
Then I googled for AM2+ PSI specification support and it looks like motherboard manufacturers didn't even implemented PSI specs into their high-end and mainstream boards (forum here). What?! Why? According to that forum only ASRock K10N750SLI-WIFI nForce 750a SLI implemented this feature. If I understand it correctly, to implement PSI specs, motherboard manufacturers must include an 3rd party PWM controller chip in power circuitry and this is independent of chipset in use.


Looks like Phenoms have much potential but no one is using it. I don't know why motherboard manufacturers choose not to implement PSI specs because Phenom would look much better in online reviews. (?)
Does anyone knows why PSI is not implemented into boards? Is it that much expensive? Are there more boards with PSI specs? Any comments?

---------------------------
PSI - Power State Indicator specifications, is a function for AM2+ motherboard platform to improve energy efficiency by disabling extra phases when CPU is at light loading.

UPDATE:
It looks like only ASRock implemented PSI specs in form of Intelligent Energy Saving (IES). They conducted some test and uploaded it on YouTube. One guy said that Asus Crosshair II Formula also support this, but it is not confirmed. Maybe motherboard manufacturers will implement PSI in their new 790GX boards? I will continue to hunt boards that can use this power savings capability of Phenoms...

Unfortunately, it looks like motherboard manufacturers think there is no need to implement such a (power savings) feature, even for marketing purposes. Also, I blame AMD for not pushing this spec through their influence in computer industry. They should made some marketing hype about this specs and everyone should know about it. For Intel platform you can see marketing for this same thing on almost every IT site. They are now pushing 16 phases for Intel, and the best I have seen for AMD are older motherboards with 8 phases?!

UPDATE 8-25-2008:
Fortunately, ASRock isn't the only one with PSI spec enabled boards:

I found more MBs supporting AM2+ PSI Spec. Although slightly renamed, it is no other than Jetway who probably has the best and most consistent overall AM2+ lineup this year.

Jetway calls it GPI: http://www.jetway.com.tw/jw/gpi.asp
This guy played a little with ASRock PSI spec enabled boards and here are some results:

Initial MB Power Differences [exact same setup]
ASR MCP78 with old 9850 2.8G setup and HD 2600 XT CnQ idles 96W AC.
MSI 790FX with old 9850 2.8G setup and HD 2600 XT CnQ idles 118W AC.

ASR MCP78 with old 9850 2.8G setup and HD 2600 XT idles 108-110W AC.
MSI 790FX with old 9850 2.8G setup and HD 2600 XT idles 134-138W AC.

ASR MCP78 with old 9850 2.8G setup and HD 2600 XT loads 199-201W AC. (CoreDamage 5 mins)
MSI 790FX with old 9850 2.8G setup and HD 2600 XT loads 250-252W AC. (CoreDamage 5 mins)



(Update September 2008) List of boards supporting AM2+ PSI specification:

ASRock (Intelligent Energy Saver): http://www.asrock.com/feature/IES/Models.html (10 boards)
Jetway (Green Power Indicator): http://www.jetway.com.tw/jw/GPI.asp (8 boards, more coming soon)
MSI (DrMOS, GreenPower): DKA790GX Platinum, DKA790GX (2 boards)

For now only 3 motherboard manufacturers and 20 different models! :mad:
 
Last edited:

nanohead

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#2
Hi guys, :)

I am leaning towards Phenom for my new rig and I recently learned that AMD Phenom is much better CPU than currently presented by various websites. This is how I understood the problems... Main problem lies within Cool & Quiet technology and motherboard manufacturers not implementing all of the features for Phenom and this impacts its performance and power efficiency.

About Phenom low performance:

There are indications that software which is controlling Phenom power state is broken. This problem is more evident in Vista than in XP. When CnQ is enabled and test are conducted on a Phenom, the end results are not always consistent. This was discovered by anandtech, read article here. This unusual behavior is furthermore explained here.

If someone knows more details about this behavior and how to resolve this problem will be very helpful. Is it the only solution for now to turn of CnQ? Who is to blame for this performance issue?

About Phenom low power efficiency:

I always do care about power dissipation and I love when computer runs cool. I was wondering why is Phenom consuming so much power in idle. So I went to some hardware forums and start asking people about min P-state of Phenom CPUs.

Quote from: http://forums.amd.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=318&threadid=98702&forumid=1




Then I googled for AM2+ PSI specification support and it looks like motherboard manufacturers didn't even implemented PSI specs into their high-end and mainstream boards (forum here). What?! Why? According to that forum only ASRock K10N750SLI-WIFI nForce 750a SLI implemented this feature. If I understand it correctly, to implement PSI specs, motherboard manufacturers must include an 3rd party PWM controller chip in power circuitry and this is independent of chipset in use.


Looks like Phenoms have much potential but no one is using it.

I don't know why motherboard manufacturers choose not to implement PSI specs because Phenom would look much better in online reviews. (?)
Does anyone knows why PSI is not implemented into boards? Is it that much expensive? Are there more boards with PSI specs? Any comments?

---------------------------
PSI - Power State Indicator specifications, is a function for AM2+ motherboard platform to improve energy efficiency by disabling extra phases when CPU is at light loading

EDIT:
It looks like only ASRock implemented PSI specs in form of Intelligent Energy Saving (IES). They conducted some test and uploaded it on YouTube here. One guy said that Asus Crosshair II Formula also support this, but it is not confirmed. Maybe motherboard manufacturers will implement PSI in their new 790GX boards? I will continue to hunt boards that can use this power savings capability of Phenoms...
Well, that is a strange way to ask whether Phenom is good, which is a VERY general question. Most processors work almost the same.

This energy thing seems massively obscure to tell you the truth. Phenom performance is fine. What you're reading across the internet abyss is garbage from fanboys that have decided that because Phenoms can't overclock to 4 Ghz, that they suck.

This is of course absurd. Phenom performance is perfectly fine, just like the Intel Pentium D was when people were throwing Intel under the bus.

Also, this power thing ....I'm scratching my head. Power consumption is typically related to chip density and clock speed, not much else. There are things that can be done when the chip (all chips, not just processors) is in service, but mainly, its how much stuff the designers jamb into the silicon. Cool and Quiet works fine (too well in fact) most of us don't use it because it interferes in overclocking. Drives me crazy actually, as it drops clock speeds and voltages and makes the computer slow. Its the same thing that Intel SpeedStep does, which is just as nasty a procedure. Actually, I gave up on Intel Speedstep because it is totally uncontrollable, whereas CnQ can actually be managed to some extent.

There are a ZILLION "standards" that AMD, Intel, Microsoft, etc put out there that no one uses.

I'm not sure how you would judge an entire line of solid state devices by some obscure power management feature. CnQ does in fact work quite well, I do use it on my linux machine on an Asus M2A VM. But never for windows when I overclock like crazy
 
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#3
Should take a look at the new Deneb 45nm Phenoms that are gonna come out. They look to be pretty good. Actualy competing on a clock for clock level instead of having to combat Intels stock by OCing the AMD by a good amoutn.
 
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#4
good for what is the question? almost everything is good for something!
 

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#6
Phenoms in my opinion are great.

People rely to much on benchmarks nowadays. In super pi, my phenom does it in the same time with 2 cores, that 4, its only a little quicker on all four cores. Screw that, my old dual core is not even half way close to the performance of the phenom.

I think, and this is just my opinion, that honestly clock for clock, intels are quicker, but its not such a big margin. In games, and everyday use, browsing, extracting, etc. I don't notice a difference between my phenom at 3.1GHz and my buddies Q6600 at 3.6Ghz. Its a very solid CPU, mine did 3.4GHz right out the box, but I run it everday at 3.1GHz.

All I know is you won't be regretting it, and when the 45nm phenoms come out, you can just slap one on and not change anything else. On the other hand, if you have a LGA 775 (intel), you need to upgrade motherboard as well if you wanted to upgrade to the Nehalem lets say.
 
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#7
Doesn't matter, I have an Phenom 9750, and I'm not happy with it.
The different between Phenom and Intel Quad are not much. So, If you don't really care about OC and stuffs, go get a Phenom and support AMD, lols.
Phenom is just a stepping stone in my oponion. It is not a good product. It's a fair product.
If you are interested in energry saving, go with the "e" version of Phenom.
Or rather, just get an Core 2 Duo 45nm, it's extreme power saving.
 

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#8
Should take a look at the new Deneb 45nm Phenoms that are gonna come out. They look to be pretty good. Actualy competing on a clock for clock level instead of having to combat Intels stock by OCing the AMD by a good amoutn.
I read hear and over at Nordic Hardware they linked that Hardspell review (translated by google to English) of the 45nm AMD cpu.
While it looks promising, I have become very leery of pre released reviews. I only wish that AMD would give out the hardware to western bench sites for an all around look at cold pre released hardware.
I hope that MB support will follow Foxconn’s lead and release MB’s using the 790FX/ 750SB combo. So is the phenom good, well it depends on why you want it. All I can say it can be better and the 45nm better yet...
 

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#9
kid41212003, what doesn't matter? I'm just not sure what you are referring to.
 
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#10
It doesn't matter that we can still use Phenom on older sockets mobo, because we can't use it at full-potential anyway. For all users who bought the 790FX mobo with SB600, they are stucked with a mobo that can't OC the Phenom at its best. Like, I am, an ASUS M2N32 AM2 mobo.
At first, I ignored people's advices, I bought an Phenom 9750, and an Zalman CNPS 9700NT cooler for it (total 270 usd). With that money, I could have move to Intel, I felt like they scammed me, an 215USD CPU that can't even perform on bar or better than a Q6600 (195usd).
 

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#11
It doesn't matter that we can still use Phenom on older sockets mobo, because we can't use it at full-potential anyway. For all users who bought the 790FX mobo with SB600, they are stucked with a mobo that can't OC the Phenom at its best. Like, I am, an ASUS M2N32 AM2 mobo.
At first, I ignored people's advices, I bought an Phenom 9750, and an Zalman CNPS 9700NT cooler for it (total 270 usd). With that money, I could have move to Intel, I felt like they scammed me, an 215USD CPU that can't even perform on bar or better than a Q6600 (195usd).

What I meant was that any AM2+ mobo can run the 45nm phenom when they are released. If you have a Q6600 right now for example, you have to upgrade to a new socket to run the new CPU's intel is releasing (Nehalem). Believe it or not, that was important to a lot of people when they chose to go with AMD.

Honestly, I don't think my 9850 is much behind any Q6000 at the same clock. To me it's a great CPU.
 

nanohead

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#12
It doesn't matter that we can still use Phenom on older sockets mobo, because we can't use it at full-potential anyway. For all users who bought the 790FX mobo with SB600, they are stucked with a mobo that can't OC the Phenom at its best. Like, I am, an ASUS M2N32 AM2 mobo.
At first, I ignored people's advices, I bought an Phenom 9750, and an Zalman CNPS 9700NT cooler for it (total 270 usd). With that money, I could have move to Intel, I felt like they scammed me, an 215USD CPU that can't even perform on bar or better than a Q6600 (195usd).
Huh? I'm confused. I have a 790FX mobo and it works great, and I can run at 3.1Ghz if I want. I'm not "stucked" at all. Also, the M2N32 is an Nvidia board, so not sure what you're talking about there either.

You couldnt move to intel for that money. A decent mobo+CPU would cost twice as much, so still not sure what you're talking about. You bought a 2.4 Ghz processor, and it runs fine@ 2.4Ghz. That is what you bought.

:confused::confused::confused:
 
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#14
Like you said, it's not much behind, but still behind? I bought this CPU when it was 215USD, and at that time Q6600 was 195USD.
I repeat, a 215usd behind an 195USD CPU, that is what you said. (they are same clocks)
Let's me remind you, you have an 9850BE, and in your sig, you said it's running at 2.9GHz with water cooler.
9850 original clock at 2500, and it's and BE version, you were able to push it to 3.1GHz, with watercooling, WOW that's really impressed me!
 

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#15
My 9850 is a great processor in all apps. I really enjoy using it everyday and am looking forward to the SB750 chipset MB's..
Having recently built a Intel rig I must say that intel processors are very easy to OC over a AMD....But I have found that they are not as much fun to OC as a AMD IMO.
I had my e7200 running at 3.6 ghz right out of the gate and waiting to get it on water before pushing it any harder...
 

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#17
Like you said, it's not much behind, but still behind? I bought this CPU when it was 215USD, and at that time Q6600 was 195USD.
I repeat, a 215usd behind an 195USD CPU, that is what you said. (they are same clocks)
Let's me remind you, you have an 9850BE, and in your sig, you said it's running at 2.9GHz with water cooler.
9850 original clock at 2500, and it's and BE version, you were able to push it to 3.1GHz, with watercooling, WOW that's really impressed me!
Dude, I mean if you really think AMD is that bad, then just get an intel

With my old Radiator I did 3.350ghz, with this new radiator I have gone up to 3.4Ghz, and because I stopped. 3.4Ghz at 1.48v. THis is my daily computer, I will not push any further.

By the way, don't listen to me, read around and you'll see that the new batches (meaning latest) q6600's are having trouble getting past 3.4Ghz. If I were you, I'd go back to some surfing on the web and do some reading. You are just not happy with your setup.

Also, I bought my 9850BE for $205. NEW
 

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#18
and in your sig, you said it's running at 2.9GHz with water cooler.
I have no idea where you got that from :confused:
 
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#19
q6600's are having trouble getting past 3.4Ghz.
Also, I bought my 9850BE for $205. NEW
I'm totally not happy with my setup. IF I don't like AMD like you said, I wouldn't buy this mobo and cpu in the first place, and what I wanted to say is, If they were at the same prices, I wouldn't mind, but they were 20usd different in price. And it not even perform on bar, like i told you while ago, I felt like I got scammed.
And YES, I wish I did more reading before I move to Phenom.

EDIT: Nano's sig.
 
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#20
Well, what I wanted to say is that Phenom is a great CPU, it just failed at first launch and because of that it has very bad reputation throughout online reviews. Cool n Quiet impact its performance badly when enabled, though this is Xp and Vista problem due to wrong scheduler tactics on quad cores. Luckily, Linux kernel manages jobs much better on quads than Xp/Vista. :)

What worries me is how come no one implemented PSI features into motherboards.
There are a ZILLION "standards" that AMD, Intel, Microsoft, etc put out there that no one uses.
Well, Intel released its VRD 11.1 specification, which is almost the same as AMD's PSI specification. Basically, they do the same job: turn off power phases when in idle for better power efficiency. Look at motherboard manufacturers sites, example Gigabyte: http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/News/Motherboard/News_List.aspx?NewsID=1401, at the bottom is a list of "power efficient" boards. They are all for Intel platform. How many are there on the list? 24 and more coming. What about "efficient" boards for AMD platform? None... Zero! Nonexistent... :banghead:

If you looked at youtube clip, you will notice that PSI will make your system less power hungry when in idle. Why can't AMD users get the same treatment as Intel users and get all cool stuff on boards?!

P.S. It's now 4:27 here, and I must go to sleep...so

Cheers :)
 

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#21
I'm totally not happy with my setup. IF I don't like AMD like you said, I wouldn't buy this mobo and cpu in the first place, and what I wanted to say is, If they were at the same prices, I wouldn't mind, but they were 20usd different in price. And it not even perform on bar, like i told you while ago, I felt like I got scammed.
And YES, I wish I did more reading before I move to Phenom.

EDIT: Nano's sig.
I'm sure you will feel different if you had an AMD mobo. Nvidia mobos are not even succesful for intels. Their chipsets are all taking craps from left to right.

About performance, I think that for everyday use and gaming, they can perform on bar with the Q6600. Like I said my buddy has one he has a Q6600, and him at 3.2GHz (his daily setting) his CPU score in 3rmark 06 is a handful of points higher than my phenom at 3.1GHz.
 
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System Name ...then I became obsessed with watts
Processor AMD FX-8350 stock clocks waiting for Zen
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Memory Patriot Viper Xtreme's 8Gb @ 1800Mhz 9-10-9 1T
Video Card(s) EVGA 1070 GTX SC
Storage 2 Samsung 128Gb 830's (one for OS+ one for Programs) & 2 Seagate SSHD 2Tb drives
Display(s) Oculus Rift!!! oh....and an LG IPS 27" monitor max resolution 1920x1080
Case Cooler Master 690...lots of fans, all of them super silent
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Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 750w G1
Mouse Logitech G9x (awesome!)
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Benchmark Scores no benches in a long time, SteamVR 10.8, maybe I'll add some more again lol
#22
Hi guys, :)

I am leaning towards Phenom for my new rig and I recently learned that AMD Phenom is much better CPU than currently presented by various websites. This is how I understood the problems... Main problem lies within Cool & Quiet technology and motherboard manufacturers not implementing all of the features for Phenom and this impacts its performance and power efficiency.
Hello Blue, though I will not spend time in this thread to avoid pointless arguing with the kid I will however invite you to read/skim through what is the largest thread on this board (no idea how you missed it :p).

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=58746

If you need to know anything about the Phenom there is a 99% chance that you will find it here. If you can't find it just ask and I'm sure we can help you through it.

Long story short....buy one and have fun.

K

Note: DO NOT join this thread if you will be buying an AM2 board as opposed to an AM2+ board just to complain about how you can't do anything with your Phenom. Buy the board's made for it in the first place and you will have no problems nor regrets. New 790FX, old 790FX, 790x, 790GX, any of those will do the trick though if you choose anything other than GX or FX be sure it'll support above 95W processors first. You can get an original 790FX for very cheap or a 790GX and neither will break the bank. The 9850BE is $194 right now so it's easily the smartest buy for a Phenom with it's known flexibility.
 

Chicken Patty

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#23
^^^couldn't be better said.

Also, about power efficiency, check out the first page of that thread.
 
Joined
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Software Ubuntu, Fedora, Open Source Software...
#24
Hello Blue, though I will not spend time in this thread to avoid pointless arguing with the kid I will however invite you to read/skim through what is the largest thread on this board (no idea how you missed it :p).

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=58746

If you need to know anything about the Phenom there is a 99% chance that you will find it here. If you can't find it just ask and I'm sure we can help you through it.

Long story short....buy one and have fun.
Hi Kei, I will read that tomorrow... thanks for the tip. :)

Now... to sleep :D
 
Joined
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Messages
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624
System Name ...then I became obsessed with watts
Processor AMD FX-8350 stock clocks waiting for Zen
Motherboard Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 (Sata 6gb I love you)
Cooling Cooler Master V8 (lapped) w/Thermaltake Silent Cat (on lowest speed)
Memory Patriot Viper Xtreme's 8Gb @ 1800Mhz 9-10-9 1T
Video Card(s) EVGA 1070 GTX SC
Storage 2 Samsung 128Gb 830's (one for OS+ one for Programs) & 2 Seagate SSHD 2Tb drives
Display(s) Oculus Rift!!! oh....and an LG IPS 27" monitor max resolution 1920x1080
Case Cooler Master 690...lots of fans, all of them super silent
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar D1 (holy $uck this is good)
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 750w G1
Mouse Logitech G9x (awesome!)
Keyboard Logitech G105
Software Windows 10 64Bit
Benchmark Scores no benches in a long time, SteamVR 10.8, maybe I'll add some more again lol
#25
I'm sure you will feel different if you had an AMD mobo. Nvidia mobos are not even succesful for intels. Their chipsets are all taking craps from left to right.
As for the ASUS M2N32 motherboard it is a VERY good motherboard when you use it for what it's made for. If you were to buy an AMD AM2 chip (not AM2+) then that board shines tremendously. I recently used it in a build for a friend with a 6400+ processor and it just runs so well.

Whether or not a cpu is backwards compatible will not change the max settings a board can use. Trying to use an AM2 baord for an AM2+ chip is meant to be a way for people to GRADUALLY upgrade their systems (not just cpu) as it'll run fine but doing so will automatically cut some of your speeds in half from the start. Those boards have an HT Link speed of 2000Mhz which is awesome...for an AM2 chip but for even the low end AM2+ chips the HT Link speed starts at 3600Mhz and goes up go 4000Mhz, pretty obvious what will happen there.

If the rest of the system is upgraded then the processor will do just fine.

K