AMD has unveiled a new revision (RB-C3) of the Phenom II X4 965 processor that comes with a reduction in its TDP rating -- just 125W versus the original’s 140W. This thermal improvement is expected to yield greater overclocking headroom for AMD's flagship CPU, which remains a black edition part priced at $195.
Arriving a bit earlier than anticipated, the renewed socket AM3 processor maintains its 3.4GHz clock speed, 512KB of L2 cache of per core for a total of 2MB, and a shared L3 cache of 6MB. In addition to the lower TDP, there are a few other tweaks, such as official support for four DDR3 modules at 1333 MHz, and improved C1E support to allow systems to switch power states faster with little to no impact to performance.
At its current price point the Phenom II X4 965 should directly compete with Intel's Core i5 750 -- though as we've seen in our own tests the latter seems like a better deal overall. That said, for those who already own an AM2+/AM3 motherboard the new Phenom II X4 965 might be worth an upgrade. AMD's new RB-C3 revision is also expected to bring a 95W Phenom II X4 955 and probably a new flagship down the road.