AMD appears to be quietly releasing an ultra-specced version of its Phenom II processors dubbed TWKR to select overclockers – and they promise some pretty impressive performances.
As reported over on X-bit Labs
, the company has sent a very limited number of the high-end chips – officially known as the AMD Phenom II 42 TWKR Black Edition – out to select customers in order to see just what they are capable of doing with them.
So far, the only official statement regarding the chips from anyone at AMD comes from spokesman Steve Howard who confimed that the chip does exist, and that “the enthusiast community is buzzing right now
” with rumours of just what is possible with the processor.
Further confirmation that such a product exists outside AMD's labs comes from Nigel Dessau, AMD's senior VP and chief marketing officer who posted a picture
of a boxed version to his TwitPic feed under the heading “Don't tell anyone I have one.
Although hard details regarding the chips are scarce right now, it's believed to feature the de rigueur unlocked clock multiplier for ease of overclocking and is designed around a mind-bendingly high TDP of 200W – meaning that extreme cooling, up to and including liquid nitrogen and other supercooled gases, is the order of the day. The TWKR is rumoured to be able to hit 7-8GHz under optimal conditions, although these figures have yet to be backed up with a solid benchmark.
Sadly, it's highly unlikely that you'll get your hands on one of these already highly coveted processors in the near future without a second mortgage: with the company attempting to make the TWKR processor the crème-de-la-crème of the overclocking world, they're going to be in limited supply for quite some time. The only models currently known to be in the wild – including pictures
of one taken by high-end PC manufacturer Maingear's chief executive officer Wallace Santos – are clearly marked “not for sale
” on the heat spreader.
Despite this, it is believed that small quantities are making their way to performance PC manufacturers as well as overclocking teams, so it might not be too long before the highest top-end gaming PCs come with a TWKR option. How much of a premium that's likely to set you back is another thing entirely.
Is this the way for AMD to get back on top after a long period chasing Intel's shadow, or should the company be concentrating on chips for the mass market rather than top-end rich boys' toys? Fancy getting your hands on on a TWKR and seeing just what it can do? Share your thoughts over in the forums