I purchased an AMD Phenom X4 9500 several months ago as an 'upgrade' for an X2 5600 system; I later upgraded to an new motherboard and an Intel E8400 CPU.
During my vacation time I decided that my system is entirely too noisy- between the video card and the system fans it creates a lot of white noise that requires me to turn my media center PC up a bit louder. To remedy this I decided it would be a good idea to split my gaming and my 'general use' (read as a NewsLeecher, web browsing and email) PC.
My gaming PC is a now a very loud bastard; E8400 on an EVGA 780i motherboard, two 8800GTs in SLI and four WD Raptor 150GB drives in a RAID0 array. My 'work' PC is almost silent (thanks in part the side panels of an Antec P150 Quite PC Case)- but slow as Hell.
My 'work' PC had an Asus M2N32-SLI deluxe motherboard with the latest (v2101) BIOS, 8GB of DDR2 and the above mentioned AMD Phenom X4 9500 CPU- running Vista Ultimate x64 (to enable me to access over 4GB of memory). I read info on the web about issues with the TLB patch with early X4 CPUs- but I have been unable to disable this patch on Vista x64 SP1.
One suggestion was to do a performance check with WinRAR; if the results are under 1200 then I am probably running the TLB patch; I was getting a 248. To compare, I ran a similar test on my gaming PC (E8400 system) and received a 1295. For fun, I pulled the X2 5600 out or storage and swapped it with the Phenom X4 and my WinRAR performance test is now up to 925.
I understand that the X4 is running as a quad 2.2Ghz and the X2 is running a dual 2.8Ghz but a close to 4x difference is pretty amazing.
Also odd is that the Asus board reported 7.5GB free (in BIOS) with the X4 CPU- and now it reports all 8GB are available with the X2 CPU; is this another 'limit' of Phenom X4 technology?