Sunnyvale (CA) - AMD has released the mysterious Phenom II X4 42 Black Edition TWKR processor, which is, according to the company, the most capable processor desktop CPU offered by the company. In fact, the CPU is so special and rare that you can’t buy it. If you are a famous overclocker you are almost certain to get a free sample and you may have a chance to get your hands on it if you say ‘please, please’ and promise to spend all your time on overclocking it. Otherwise, your best bet may be Ebay – and it will be expensive as there are less than 100 chips available.
AMD said it is providing the TWKR CPU to “extreme overclockers”, which can use the chip to “reach the utmost performance barriers under extreme cooling”. The chips are in very limited supply and apparently are the best processors AMD currently yields from its production, allowing much more clock speed than the average Phenom processors you can buy on store shelves.
The CPUs, described as engineering samples, are based on the 45 nm Deneb core (8 MB cache, AM3 package) and ships in a fancy wood box with a standard clock speed of 2.0 GHz. The company did not provide any technical details of these chips, but mentioned that they “can handle more voltage, scale higher, and run faster than other processors on the market.” AMD did not say which clock speeds these processors are capable of, but we know that the company has taken similar selected processors already to a speed of 6.89 GHz - with the help of overclockers and lots of liquid nitrogen.
As an average consumer, you will not be able to get your hands on such a processor. AMD says there will be less than 100 CPUs given to overclockers and even a stuffed bank account won’t give you access to one of these chips, at least not initially. To apply for such a processor, you will have to go through AMD’s Twitter page. And if you don’t get a processor, AMD assures you that “the same engineering that goes into the extreme performance of “TWKR” processors can be found in every AMD Phenom II processor available today.”
We would assume that one or the other TWKR processor will find its way to Ebay and it will be interesting to see how expensive those processors will be.
Of course, there is the question why AMD would give away such a small number of processors in the first place, besides the obvious expectation that there will be new Gigahertz records that can advertise the Phenom CPU. AMD’s official statement is that the TWKR processors are “a way to give back to the community and encourage the excitement of extreme computing.” The company hopes that “the hardcore overclocking community embraces these special edition processors and push the limits of overclocking.”
As a sidenote, if you are wondering about the “42” name, it does not refer to any processor sequence. According to AMD, the “42” refers to a phrase from Douglas Adams’ science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in which 42 is the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.