What is Phenom Processor? (Explained)

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What is Phenom Processor

What is Phenom Processor?

Phenom signifies the 64-bit desktop processor line designed by AMD. These CPUs are built on the K10 microarchitecture and 65 nm manufacturing process.

From a design point of view, the most significant aspect of these specific processors is that, unlike the Core 2 Quad processors of Intel which are based on a Multi Chip Module or MCM design, the AMD Phenom processors have all their cores on one single silicon die.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The AMD Phenom processors are designed on the K10 microarchitecture and AM2+ socket. These processor chips are usually built on the 65 nm fabrication process.
  • AMD has introduced several different models of the Phenom processors, with the first released in 2007 and the others in 2008.
  • Ideally, the triple-core versions, codenamed Toliman, belong to the AMD Phenom X3 8000 series and the quad-core processors, codenamed Agena, belong to the Phenom X4 9000 series.
  • Apart from the regular Phenom X3 and Phenom X4 processors, AMD has also released an upgraded version of the original, the Phenom II, in late 2008.
  • The Phenom CPUs are successors to the Athlon 64 X2 and predecessors of the Athlon II.

Understanding Phenom Processor

What is Phenom Processor

The AMD Phenom processors are 64-bit chips built on the K10 microarchitecture, which is also used to build other AMD processors such as the Athlon X2 Kuma and Athlon II processors, as well as several Sempron, Opteron and Turion series processors.

The first processor of the AMD Phenom family was launched on November 19, 2007.

The number of cores in the AMD Phenom processor may range from 2 to 4 and these cores can attain a maximum clock speed of 1.8 GHz to 2.6 GHz.

General Specifications

Introduced on November 19, 2007, the AMD Phenom processors come with the following specs in general:

  • A maximum CPU clock rate ranging between 1.8 GHz and 2.6 GHz
  • HyperTransport support with speed ranging between 1.6 GHz and 2.0 GHz
  • Built on 65 nm technology node and AMD K 10 microarchitecture
  • MMX, 3DNow! SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, and x86-64 instruction sets support
  • Number of cores ranging between 2 and 4
  • AM2+ Socket
  • Successor to Athlon 64 X2
  • Predecessor of Phenom II (their upgraded version) and Athlon II
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Ideally, the Phenom processor of low power, typically with a Thermal Design Power or TDP of up to 65 watts, comes with an ā€˜Eā€™ after their model number, 910e, for instance.

AMD Phenom Processor Family

The processors based on AMD Phenom with the K10 microarchitecture used for the desktop system usually come with a quad-core, triple-core and dual-core design.

  • The quad-core desktop processors, released in March 2008, are codenamed Agena and are equipped with 65 nm cores.
  • The triple-core desktop processors, released in March 2008, are codenamed Toliman and are equipped with 65 nm cores.
  • The dual-core desktop processors, released in December 2008, are codenamed Kuma and are equipped with 65 nm cores.

However, now typically, these processors come in quad core and triple core varieties and are called Phenom X4 and Phenom X3 processors, respectively.

Phenom X4

These are the processors with four AMD K10 cores and are codenamed Agena. The ones with B2 Stepping were first released on November 19, 2007, and the ones with B3 Stepping were first released on March 27, 2008. The features of these processors are:

  • These are built on 65 nm Silicon on Insulator (SOI) technology.
  • The Level 1 cache is split into a 64 KB instruction cache or L1I and a 64 KB data cache or L1D per core.
  • The full-speed Level 2 cache measures 512 KB per core.
  • The Level 3 cache measures 2 MB and is shared among all the cores.
  • The memory controller supports dual channel DDR2 memory up to a 1066 MHz operating frequency with an unganging option.
  • MMX, Extended 3DNow! SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4a, AMD64, NX, Bit, Cool’n’Quiet, and AMD-V instruction support is offered.
  • They support Socket AM2+.
  • HyperTransport support is offered at a rate ranging between 1600 MHz and 2000 MHz.
  • Maximum power consumption (TDP) can be 65 watts, 95 watts, 125 watts, or 140 watts depending on the model.
  • The clock rate can range between 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz.
  • The examples of these models can be Phenom X4 9100e to Phenom X4 9950.
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Phenom X3

These are the processors with three AMD K10 cores and are codenamed Toliman. These cores are harvested from Agena but one of them is disabled.

The ones with B2 Stepping were first released on March 27, 2008, and the ones with B3 Stepping were first released on April 23, 2008.

The features of these processors are almost the same as those of the Phenom X4 processors, with the difference being in the following features:

  • HyperTransport support is offered at a rate ranging between 1600 MHz and 1800 MHz.
  • Maximum power consumption (TDP) can be between 65 watts and 95 watts, depending on the model.
  • The clock rate can range between 2100 MHz and 2500 MHz.
  • The examples of these models can be Phenom X3 8250e to Phenom X3 8850.

As you can see, there is no mention of the Phenom X2 processors, and you may wonder why that is so.

Initially, there was also a dual-core variant available by the name of Phenom x2, but it was discontinued by AMD soon after its release.

Though people cite loss of revenue or a later release date may be slated for it which coincided with the release of the Phenom II, the actual reason behind discontinuing the Phenom X2 variants is not disclosed officially by AMD, ever.

However, they released new versions of Phenom processors, the Phenom II, in late 2008 as a successor to the original Phenom CPUs.

These processors are built on a 45 nanometer manufacturing process and the AMD K10 microarchitecture.

The number of cores in these processors ranges from 4 to 6, with an operating speed ranging between 2.8 GHz and 3.4 GHz, depending on the specific Phenom II processor model.

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Based on their design aspects and features, these processors are categorized as follows:

  • Phenom II X6, or the hex-core series
  • Phenom II X4, or the quad-core series
  • Phenom II X3, or the tri-core series and
  • Phenom II X2, or the dual-core series.

Is AMD Phenom Good for Gaming?

Yes, the AMD Phenom processors are quite good for playing games.

The features and functionality of these CPUs support most of the top games, including League of Legends, Overwatch, and others.

Conclusion

The AMD Phenom processors are quite good to include in a computer system to perform basic as well as complex computing tasks.

You will also get adequate support from this CPU when you play games on your computer.

There are different models of Phenom CPUs you can choose from, based on your needs.

About Dominic Chooper

AvatarDominic Chooper, an alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), possesses a profound expertise in the realm of computer hardware. Since his early childhood, Dominic has been singularly passionate about delving deep into the intricate details and inner workings of various computer systems. His journey in this field is marked by over 12 years of dedicated experience, which includes specialized skills in writing comprehensive reviews, conducting thorough testing of computer components, and engaging in extensive research related to computer technology. Despite his professional engagement with technology, Dominic maintains a distinctive disinterest in social media platforms, preferring to focus his energies on his primary passion of understanding and exploring the complexities of computer hardware.

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Dominic Chooper
Dominic Chooper, an alumnus of Texas Tech University (TTU), possesses a profound expertise in the realm of computer hardware. Since his early childhood, Dominic has been singularly passionate about delving deep into the intricate details and inner workings of various computer systems. His journey in this field is marked by over 12 years of dedicated experience, which includes specialized skills in writing comprehensive reviews, conducting thorough testing of computer components, and engaging in extensive research related to computer technology. Despite his professional engagement with technology, Dominic maintains a distinctive disinterest in social media platforms, preferring to focus his energies on his primary passion of understanding and exploring the complexities of computer hardware.
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