Tom's Hardware writes: "It's way past high-time that AMD launched a counter-strike to the flurry of compelling Intel CPUs that've been launched since Phenom first got off of the ground. The switch over to 45 nm manufacturing seemingly took a lot longer than the company originally planned, but alongside a new CPU with smaller transistor elements, this release introduces some brand-new technology.
The improvements are manifest in a revised transistor count. Phenom II boasts roughly 758 million transistors, up from right around 450 million. As with its predecessor, the original Phenom, Phenom II drops into nearly every Socket AM2 motherboard. This gives the Phenom II broad appeal to the upgrade crowd, many of whom have long sought improved performance for their AMD systems.
How do Phenom II configurations look to the enthusiast crowd? As it happens, the Phenom II starts right where the previous generation left off. The incoming flagship-the Phenom II X4 940-employs a naming convention that goes straight after the company's principle competitor, running at 3.0 GHz. The fastest Phenom, the X4 9950 Black Edition, was set to operate with a 2.6 GHz clock. Overclockers soon learned that this also represented something near the upper limit of the chips range, and could only get more out of it with the introduction of Advanced Clock Calibration (ACC) on the SB750 southbridge, which helped extend scalability up another few hundred megahertz. The Phenom II represents an end to such limits: even at 3 GHz this chip still has lots of headroom, as we will show with the results from our Munich lab."