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AMD Phenom II X6 1100T in Detail
The Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition is based on AMD's 45nm "Thuban" architecture. Its six cores operate at 3.3GHz, which is only 100MHz faster than the previous flagship model. The Turbo Core frequency has also been boosted by 100MHz and now reaches as high as 3.7GHz.
All Thuban-based processors feature the traditional Phenom II 6MB L3 cache, while each individual core receives its own 512KB L2 cache. That makes up for total cache of 9MB, which compares to the 8MB that Phenom II X4 processors have.
Unlike the much more expensive Intel Core i7 980X, AMD's six-core processors have not made the move to 32nm. As mentioned earlier, they are still 45nm parts. Despite this, AMD has specified a moderate TDP rating of 125 watts, even when operating at 3.3GHz.
The Phenom II X6 processors support all the same features as the previous Phenom II X4 models, with the addition of Turbo Core. This hardware-based C-state performance boost technology is AMD's equivalent of Intel's Turbo Boost. Intel's technology can increase the Core i7 980X's frequency from the default 3.33GHz to 3.60GHz if only one or two cores of the six available are in use.
The AMD Turbo Core technology works a little differently. Turbo Core can automatically increase the frequency of three active cores by up to 500MHz. The technology works by putting three cores into a boost-enabled P-state when power consumption is below the processor's rated TDP.
Being in the boost-enabled P-state doesn't mean the three cores are instantly overclocked by 500MHz. Instead, they are ready to have their frequencies increased based on the processing workload.
The Turbo Core feature works in conjunction with AMD Cool 'n' Quiet. A processor like the Phenom II X6 1100T could be working at anywhere between the minimum operating frequency and the maximum, not necessarily the Turbo Core maximum. Interestingly, AMD specifies that the Turbo Core boosted cores do not necessarily have to be operating at the same frequency either.
The Phenom II X6 1100T Black Edition has a maximum Turbo Core speed of 3.7GHz, 400MHz above its default operating frequency. The Phenom II X6 1055T can go from 2.8GHz up to 3.3GHz which is a healthy 500MHz boost.
However, Turbo Core is something most overclockers are likely to disable as it can destabilize an overclocked computer. Furthermore, if someone were to simply increase the clock multiplier (which is fully unlocked) from the default 16.5x setting to 18.5x they would be constantly running all cores at 3.7GHz.