AMD is launching today their first six-core CPUs: Phenom II X6 1055T (2.8 GHz) and Phenom II X6 1090T (3.2 GHz). Let’s see what kind of performance level the fastest CPU from AMD can deliver and compare it to competitors from Intel.

As you may be aware, Intel has already released their first six-core CPU, Core i7-980X, a socket LGA1366 processor running at 3.33 GHz with a price tag that puts it very distant from regular users (USD 999 in 1,000-quantity lots). These two new releases by AMD are way more affordable: Phenom II X6 1055T is quoted at USD 199 and Phenom II X6 1090T is quoted at USD 295.

Both new CPUs are manufactured under 45-nm process and are based on the AM3 socket. Although most of “older” socket AM3 motherboards will accept the new CPUs (a BIOS upgrade may be necessary), AMD is also launching a new chipset, AMD 890FX (the most important feature is the native support for SATA-600 ports). We benchmarked the new CPU on a motherboard based on this new chipset.

Something new with these new CPUs is the adoption of a boost technology similar to Intel’s Turbo Boost. When the CPU “feels” that three or more cores are idle, it will increase the clock rate from the active cores. On Phenom II X6 1055T the clock is increased from 2.8 GHz to 3.2 GHz, while on Phenom II X6 1090T the clock is increased from 3.2 GHz to 3.6 GHz.

On the other hand, AMD still doesn’t have anything similar to Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, which simulates an extra core on each CPU core. So the six-core CPU from Intel is seen by the operating system and programs as a 12-core CPU.

Now let’s make a quick comparison between Phenom II X6 1090T and the other CPUs we included in our benchmarking.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.