After a longer than expected delay, the new Phenom processors saw public light last November, but unfortunately, AMD didn't even go as planned again. Simply put, instead of getting a full pack of competitive products, we only have two moderately clocked Phenom processors (9500 and 9600), which are characterized to offer quad-core processing on a budget, rather than the competition from Intel Core 2 surpass.
As part of the Phenom launch, AMD also introduced a new platform (used by the ASUS M3A32-MVP tested today) based on the AMD 790FX chipset and the half-new AM2 + socket. This new platform continues to use DDR2 memory, but offers support for HyperTransport 3.0 and shared power traces (resulting in energy savings). The AM2 + socket is backward compatible with Athlon X2s and Semprons, so it can serve as a middle platform if you can't upgrade CPU and motherboard at the same time.
While all of this sounds good, the Phenom still has a big problem that AMD is undoubtedly working on around the clock to fix. One word you probably don't hear often is "erratum", although this has been associated with the new Phenom processors quite often. There is a hardware failure in current Phenom processors, which can cause problems in cases where software uses nested memory pages. In the short term, AMD has developed a solution called the "TLB patch" that effectively disables the 2MB L3 cache. It works as a solution, but affects performance that the Phenom 9500/9600 can't afford.
The TLB erratum is said to be fixed in the B3 stepping of all AMD quad-core processors, which include both Phenom and Barcelona processors (dual-core). However, the new stepping will not be available until next March. All processors that were delivered between then and now continue to have the TLB error. However, the BIOS workaround does not block these computers, but instead causes them to lose performance. You can start figuring out how hectic and tedious the past few months have been for CPU maker # 2.
The Phenom 9500 started life at $ 251, while the Phenom 9600 was a little more expensive at $ 283. Because of all of these issues, AMD has lowered the prices of the Phenom 9500 to $ 199 and the Phenom 9600 to $ 245. In addition, the AMD Athlon 64 X2 6400 + processor dropped from $ 220 in November to just $ 190. What we now have is a series of new and impressive AM2 + motherboards that support both AMD Athlon 64 and Phenom processors.
This opens up the possibility of a number of upgrade paths. If you're ready to stay with AMD for a while, some previous generation AM2 motherboards will be compatible with the new Phenoms (check yours here), or you can upgrade to a Phenom AM2 with your current Athlon X2 processor today Execute + platform The CPU moves later when the errors have been rectified, after all the Athlon 64 X2 6400+ is not a problem.
Today we're looking at a new ASUS AM2 + motherboard that users can do just that. The ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe is an impressive looking motherboard with some unique features that we have never seen before.