Phenom is in dire need of some love. The TLB issue will be fixed in hardware with the next stepping - this is due in Q1 2008.
The guys over at The Tech Report have managed to benchmark the Phenom Level 3 cache Translation Lookup Buffer (TLB) errata which we first talked about in our report on AMD’s event in Warsaw, Poland.
At that time, AMD told us that we could expect to see around a 10 percent performance drop as a result of enabling the TLB errata fix, but because it problem only rears its head in some scenarios, not everyone will want to leave it enabled. According to The Tech Report
though, the TLB fix kills performance by between 13.8 to nearly 20 percent on average when the BIOS “patch” to rectify the problem is applied.
Specific results get even worse with synthetic memory specific benchmarks suffering in the range of 30 to 50 percent, while other more real world applications, like Office 2003 SP1, Windows Media Encoder 9.0, Winzip 10 and Valve map builder suffer by around five to ten percent.
Another test that, at face value, looks quite worrying is Firefox as performance in the popular open source web browser dropped by 57 percent in the simulated test used. However, the site reported that using the browser in the real-world didn’t feel noticeably sluggish so it's nothing to really worry about.
So, unless you live by e-peen numbers outside of the real world, it’s not going to make a massive difference, but it’s about equivalent to a 200MHz clock speed deficit. For those wondering where our own Phenom review is, we’re working on it – it took some time for us to get a processor out of AMD to test on our own terms and the chip we've acquired is currently being put through our slew of tests, so stay tuned for that next week.
Poor old AMD, it just can’t get a break can it? Do you care or not? Throw your flames about, in the forums