AMD Phenom II X6 1090T review

AMD goes six core - should the Intel Core i7 be worried?

Thuban die shot
The obligatory die shot complete with coloured effects. Its proof we have six cores anyway, each with its block of 512KB cache, on the right we have the 6MB L3 cache

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AMD's six-core Thuban turned out to be pretty much what we expected: it's a good value general slogger with some very impressive raw processing power on offer, but as an out and out gaming chip it still comes second to Intel's offerings: the Core i7 still rules the gaming roost.

It's tempting to compare the 1090T Thuban directly with Intel's six-core Core i7 980X. Do this and you'll definitely be disappointed.

It's not nearly as fast in any test, it doesn't have two threads per core or twice the L3 cache for a start so it would have been an amazing feat if it was within striking distance of Intel's finest. It may be AMDs fastest desktop chip yet, but it's not gunning for the top spot.

As ever, price is everything. At £200 a pop it's aimed squarely at the quad-core Core i7s and Core i5s, currently the 1090T is priced directly opposite the Core i7 920. Given that initial prices have a habit of falling rapidly what we have here is another AMD performance bargain.

Only the lack of outright single thread games power, where many games benefit most, makes us hesitate to gush unduly, although if you run your games with the pressure resting on your graphics card the gap narrows.

Unless overclockers can wring something special out of the 1090T, it's merely a worthy and good value chip rather than the new superstar. If you just want six-core goodness for your multi-threaded apps, then it's certainly a proper bargain. For an upgrade an existing AMD system it's a joy.

As in the past, AMD gives you more cores for the money. And you can't complain about value for money can you?

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