AMD Phenom X4 9350e and 9950 BE Debut

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Performance Summary: Summarizing the performance of the Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition processor is a relatively easy matter.  The Phenom X4 9950 is the fastest desktop CPU to be released by AMD to date.  Due to its 2.6GHz core clock speed, the X4 9950 is roughly 4% faster than the X4 9850 across the board.  In comparison to Intel's offerings, the Phenom X4 9950 is about on par with the Core 2 Quad Q6600, trading victories depending on the test.  The new Phenom X4 9350e is a little harder to categorize.  As expected, due to its relatively low clock speed, the X4 9350e finished behind AMD's other quad-core offerings.  It was, however, faster than the higher-clock tri-core Phenom X3 8750 in most multi-threaded benchmarks.  In single-threaded applications though, the X4 9350e's 2.0GHz core clock resulted in comparatively lower performance.

The new Phenom X4 processors being released by AMD today will appeal to two totally different types of consumer.  The Phenom X4 9950 Black Edition is an obvious candidate for AMD enthusiasts looking for the best CPU AMD has to offer.  It's 140 W TDP means it is only suited to higher-end motherboards that can supply the necessary power, but anyone looking for a Black Edition should be pairing it with an appropriate enthusiast-class or professional series motherboard anyway.

The Phenom X4 9350e's appeal isn't quite as broad.  Because AMD has a number of higher-clocked dual- and tri- core processors at a similar price point, the X4 9350e is best suited to more specific types of user.  If you're a heavy multi-tasker on a budget (or regularly use multi-threaded applications), the Phenom X4 9350e's four cores will ultimately pay dividends.  The CPU is particularly well suited to HTPC applications as well, due to its quad-core architecture and relatively low 65W TDP.  This chip is a great match for an AMD 780G-based motherboard, and can easily be the basis of a sub-$500, eco-friendly, quad-core system when paired with the right components. On the other hand,  as we saw in our power numbers, a 790FX-based platform doesn't match up well versus current Intel offerings (especially the GB board we used), in terms of performance per watt.  And Intel obviously still holds onto the overall performance crown and has a number of competing offerings that are just as compelling.

In regard to pricing, the Phenom X4 9950 comes in at $235 - the same price point as the X4 9850 Black Edition.  We're told the Phenom X4 9850 BE will remain at $235 as well, but only for one week.  On July 7th the 9850's price drops to $205.  Also note that AMD is planning to make future 9850's non-black edition parts, which means they're multipliers can't be increased.  This won't happen until sometime later in the year though.  Phenom X4 9350e and 9150e processors will be offered for sale at $195 and $175, respectively.  That makes them two of the most affordable quad-core processor out there.

In the end, the release of these new Phenom processors further expands AMD's quad-core processor line-up with new high-end and new energy-efficient processors.  With only about $60 separating AMD's highest and lowest-clocked quad-cores, however, and a smattering of tri- and dual-core chips thrown into the mix as well, choosing the right CPU for yourself can be quite a trick.  AMD enthusiasts and overclockers, look to the Phenom X4 9950.  But SFF aficionados or multi-taskers on a tight budget, may want to check out the Phenom X4 9350e or 9150e.


  • Good Performance
  • Competitive Pricing
  • New High-End, and Energy Efficient Quad-Cores
  • Intel Still Faster Overall
  • 140W TDP for the X4 9950 BE

Tags:  AMD, Phenom, X4, AMD Phenom, BU, AM, and

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Crisis Causer 6 years ago

Wow, that 9950 is power hungry.  Eek.  They gotta get that down.  Not bad performance, but it's still the same architecture so it's gonna lag behind Intel in many things.

ice91785 6 years ago
I don't really like re-releases of a same core just with "higher clocks" -- if its the same architecture why not just release it with the rest of the series?
rapid1 6 years ago
Yeah but at least there getting more up to speed. I hate to say it but even as an AMD enthusiast who's thinking about building a new system I don't know. The power is no issue I'm looking at either the HYPER 885 or 1200 watt unit for power so thats no issue at all. However Intel is supposed to release a totally new CPU in the next 6 months. With the last 2 years of results in processor output and the performance variables I might have to just go intel and DDR3.
ice_73 6 years ago
rapid, perhaps youd be interested in uying my 1250 watt psu?
ice91785 6 years ago

I have faith in AMD -- look what just happened between ATI and nVidia! I believe DAMIT is just starting to get their feet under them from the merger way back and beginning to make headway....its only a matter of time

I say this as no fanboi of either AMD or Intel -- just as a guy hoping for good competition


Anonymous 6 years ago

 Hey guys, I have been tweaking some Phenoms and I have found some interesting stuff. Amd phenom is performing better on higher resolutions given the same video card. Would you guys mind testing this for me ? It would really be helpful.  In particular the 9950 even though the 9850 would still be good if that is all you have access to.

Anonymous 6 years ago

 I am bumping this. I am suprised no one is as curious as me.

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