AMD Phenom 9600 (2.3GHz) review: AMD Phenom 9600 (2.3GHz)

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Adobe Photoshop CS3 test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Cinebench 10
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering Multiple CPUs  
Rendering Single CPU  
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600
8,724 
2,472 
AMD Phenom 9600
7,359 
1,942 
AMD Phenom 9500
7,068 
1,870 

As you can see, on every single test, the Phenom chips fall behind their Core 2 Quad competitor. And considering prices right now, we don't think the $10 savings on the higher-end Phenom 9600 is worth the performance hit.

Over the next few months, AMD will expand its Phenom offerings to include two higher-end models, the Phenom 9700 at 2.4GHz, and the 9900 at 2.6GHz. We also expect that Intel will add to its Core 2 family by bringing its new, more heat- and power-efficient 45 nanometer design into mainstream dual-core and quad-core CPUs. Our test of the first of these new parts, the Core 2 Extreme QX9650, showed that Intel's new design makes a noticeable performance impact over Intel's older 65 nanometer parts. That doesn't bode well for AMD and the 65-nanometer Phenom, which can't overtake even Intel's current gen chips.

Despite all of that doom and gloom for the Phenom, its future could get brighter. AMD demonstrated with the Athlon 64 X2 that it is not afraid to cut prices to compete with Intel, which could improve the Phenom's bang-for-the-buck prospects. And if Intel reduces its prices in response, we could see some very inexpensive quad-core desktops on store shelves next year. You can already get a quad-core system for less than $1,000, and we've heard about new quad-core PCs coming out next year in the sub-$800 range. Do we hear sub-$700...?

AMD test bed configuration:
Windows Vista Ultimate; Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe motherboard; 2GB 1,066MHz Crucial Ballistix DDR2 SDRAM; 74GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 rpm hard drive; 512MB ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card

Intel test bed configuration:
Windows Vista Ultimate; Asus Maximus Formula Special Edition X38 motherboard; 2GB 1,066MHz Crucial Ballistix DDR2 SDRAM; 74GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 rpm hard drive; 512MB ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT graphics card

What you'll pay

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    Where to Buy

    AMD Phenom 9600 (2.3GHz)

    Part Number: HD9600WCGDBOX Released: Nov 19, 2007
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Release date Nov 19, 2007
    • Product Type Processor