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Q8400 stronger than the Phenom II quads when OC'ed over 3 Ghz?

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May 16, 2009 8:26:00 PM

Just saw this article on Anandtech and I have to say it looks like the Q8400 is a stronger CPU than the AMD Phenom II 940 - and possibly therefore the 955 - when the Q8400 is OC'ed past 3 Ghz. Check out the article:

OC results:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx...

Looks like it is better in games than the 940 (probably the 955 then as well)

Article from start:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel/showdoc.aspx...

Things look worrying for AMD - especially when you see their budget deficit - it would be sad if it affects their R&D - which it undoubtedly will. I think we would all lose if Intel drives AMD into bankruptcy. Anyways - hope you enjoy the article.

Also, has anyone found any similar comparisons and what did they say?
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May 16, 2009 10:01:08 PM

First, your links are broken.

Second, did they overclock the Phenoms as well? The Phenom II can easily hit >3.5GHz, and I would imagine that at those speeds, they would easily beat a 3GHz Q8400.
May 16, 2009 10:31:06 PM

Clock for Clock the Core 2 architecture is significantly stronger. Toms recently did an article comparing the q6600, the core i7 920, and the Phenom 2 940. Even at 2.4GHz the q6600 was running right alongside the phenom at 3GHz in 90% of the tests and still managed to prevail in specific situations.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-940,2114-...

Then once you overclock a core 2 its over. People assume that because Intel has moved on to a new architecture the former somehow becomes less valid. The Q9650 which also runs at 3Ghz will destroy a Phenom 2, and overclocks to 4GHz on stock voltage. With a good heatsink itll go to 4.5GHz on air. To my knowledge the Phenom uses the same architecture found in the Athlon 64x2 just adapted to work with a quad core and more cache. Believe me when i say that i want to believe in AMD again, I love how they brought Nvidia back to earth with the 4000 series, but the Phenom isnt the answer.

And of course a Core 2 will beat an i7 in gaming at the same clockspeed, its cache is put in L2, whereas the i7 has the majority of its cache in L3 which operates at a significantly slower speed. The i7 was built for workstations, see: Hyperthreading.
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May 17, 2009 12:19:49 AM

In 3 out of 4 games the phenom was stronger , and its competitive everywhere else . In encoding apps its stronger than the 9550 C2Q's let alone the 8400

And since ithe 940be also overclocks I dont think the q8400 is exactly a king hit for intel somehow

May 17, 2009 2:00:14 AM

940 BE basically falls right in between the Q9400 and Q9550.

Somehow I doubt the Q8400 is going to top it.
May 17, 2009 2:00:54 AM

Yeah that was running at stock speeds - the whole point I think was that the Q8400 is actually faster than the 940 clock for clock - or so it seems from the Far Cry 2 OC results. Stock verses stock the AMD wins - but for those willing to overclock it looks different from the test - anybody seen any other tests?
May 17, 2009 2:04:09 AM

The Third Level said:
940 BE basically falls right in between the Q9400 and Q9550.

Somehow I doubt the Q8400 is going to top it.


Well stock vs stock no - but the overclocking results show interesting clock for clock results that have the Q8400 leading in games and several other apps - I thought it was strange at first to - but looking at it it looks like the intels are stronger on a clock for clock basis and that it is only the higher stock clocks on the AMD that give it a lead without overclocking. Would like to see if there are any more articles though to confirm whether or not this is correct
May 17, 2009 2:06:06 AM

Clock by Clock Core 2 is faster... but you'll probably be able to push the 940 to 3.6-ish, and considering the Q8000 series is supposed to be the low-end 45nm quads...

The Phenom IIs also have a lot more cache, a higher stock clock, and higher OCing potential. So theoretically, yes the Q8400 would be faster at similar speeds, but if you're going to OC, the Phenom II will go further anyway.
May 17, 2009 2:16:46 AM

Check out the results man - what you said is what I assumed at first - but it was the opposite of the results - the Q8400 OC'ed stable on the stock cooler up to 3.4 Ghz and at this speed it was quicker than the 940 at 3.6 Ghz. According to Anandtech they hardly saw an increase in game performance between the 940 at 3.2 Ghz and at 3.6 Ghz - whereas the Q8400 continued to scale - but don't take my word for it - check out the article

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May 17, 2009 2:18:59 AM

Phenom II cpu's have about the same IPC as the 65nm core2 cpu's (Conroe / Kentsfield), and on most tasks are slightly slower than the 45nm core2 cpu's (Worlfdale / Yorkfield).

Both these lines overclock well, though the 45nm Intel cpu's have better thermal characteristics.

The Q8 series have smaller caches - they are the "celeron" of the quad cores.

Doesn't look like they suffer much from the castration but as they have higher FSB's they are harder to overclock too.
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May 17, 2009 2:34:28 AM

clock for clock doesnt matter

what matters is computing power per $

Phenom has been consistently ahead in that test against all intel cpu's
May 17, 2009 3:29:26 AM

Yeah that's what's been the case - but now you can get the Q8400 cheaper than the 940, and a P45 board costs roughly the same as a 790X - so really if the Q8400 performs better than the 940 - it's better bang for the buck - that is why this is so interesting.
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May 17, 2009 4:01:58 AM

Current Q8400's have no VT! They might be ok if you're still on LGA775 but they aren't worth it for a new system.
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May 17, 2009 4:10:51 AM

Actually, all 8400s have VT. They are new - the older 8300 and 8200 are the ones without VT (though Intel is adding VT to the entire line).
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May 17, 2009 4:18:27 AM

Oh so they do, I thought the entire Q8000 series didn't have VT. Cross that negative off the list then.
May 17, 2009 4:19:45 AM

So this changes what exactly? If your on 775, any Q9xxx will still smoke 8400, and if your buying new, why drop money into a dead end platform...
May 17, 2009 4:21:52 AM

cjl said:
First, your links are broken.

Second, did they overclock the Phenoms as well? The Phenom II can easily hit >3.5GHz, and I would imagine that at those speeds, they would easily beat a 3GHz Q8400.

They aren't. I just clicked them. Also, he said the website (AnandTech- so you should just look it up). And yes the Phenom II was OC to 3.6.
the Q8400 was @ 3.3.
The Q8400 beat the Phenom 2 in almost all tests.
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May 17, 2009 4:23:18 AM

I fixed the links in the OP, but they were broken. The forum software tries to make them appear shorter and if you do things "right" sometimes it kills them.
May 17, 2009 5:31:05 AM

Outlander_04 said:
clock for clock doesnt matter

what matters is computing power per $

Phenom has been consistently ahead in that test against all intel cpu's


Are you serious? The two go hand in hand. I did my research to find the best deal for the best price. I went with an e7400 for just that reason. And as to the price comparison, the q8400 is $5 cheaper on Newegg.
May 17, 2009 5:36:32 AM

Essentually, these 2 are run mostly at stock, as the vast majority dont oc, unfortunately. And also, the most demanded of all those tests being run by the average Joe, gaming is the highest in demand.
The gaming performance at stock, the 940 wins, so no, no troubles there. You have to look at the bigger picture, and not just particular segments, whether it enthusiast, someone needing huge amounts of rendering etc. AMD is lagging behind in IPC compared to Itels Core chips, even the AM3's are behind, but a lil closer.
I hear AMD is trying to fashion their next cpu, Bulldozer, after Intels newesr and best, with implementing SSE5 etc, which will also be a huge catchup for them as well, as in many of these tests, SSE4 helps the Intel chips, while the AMD struggles without a true SSE4
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May 17, 2009 6:00:35 AM

Yeah, they didn't exactly run alot of tests on the overclocking part. Oh well. Anyway it's no secret that AMD CPUs are behind in IPC compared to 45nm wolfdale CPUs, or even the older 65nm Kentsfield. Alot of it stems from bad management on AMDs part, particularly to delay 65nm production to sell more 90nm chips, not taking Core 2 seriously until it was too late, and damaging more than a few relations when it sold one of it's fabs at a time when demand for it's 90nm chips were at it's highest. From there they've just been playing catchup. Anyway AMD is better for me since I already have a 790X board and I don't plan on overclocking with just the stock cooler :D .
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May 17, 2009 11:07:00 AM

For the power for price the Phenom II are compelling.

Still ... I'd rather a Q9650 and smoke any AMD system for just $150 more ... overclocked or not.

For another $300 you can go i7 ... that seems a bit expensive to me... but the prices will drop on the i7 mobos soon enough.

For a budger gaming build the Phenom II's are great - if your lucky enought to be able to upgrade just by swapping the cpu then your in a nice place too.

That's twice I have made an anti-AMD recommendation ... must do a full self diagnostic ... might have a spintel virus.
May 17, 2009 3:48:49 PM

Reynod said:
For the power for price the Phenom II are compelling.

Still ... I'd rather a Q9650 and smoke any AMD system for just $150 more ... overclocked or not.

For another $300 you can go i7 ... that seems a bit expensive to me... but the prices will drop on the i7 mobos soon enough.

For a budger gaming build the Phenom II's are great - if your lucky enought to be able to upgrade just by swapping the cpu then your in a nice place too.

That's twice I have made an anti-AMD recommendation ... must do a full self diagnostic ... might have a spintel virus.



lol. ^^^ very similar to my sentiments. I love the core 2 duo rig im using now, but i put a phenom 9600 in a workstation/low end gaming rig for a friend cuz he didnt have the money or the need for something insane. He lucked out and got one that overclocked well, and I got it all the way to 2.7GHz with a similarly cheap but effective arctic cooling freezer 64 heatsink. Thought about getting the same cpu and putting it in a cheap server but dont see the need for a seperate build when i can create data redundancy with multiple drives in my primary rig. Currently trying to sell my desktop to a friend and purchase a core i7 rig i put together on newegg cuz i dont see myself gaming as much in the future.
May 17, 2009 4:19:54 PM

Core 2's are even more enticing now that you can get an X48 board for about £100, £50 less than an i7 board, but that's what kills the point of getting a Q9650, an i7 build will cost about the same as a Q9650 build with an X48 motherboard.

Infact the Q9650 build would be slightly more expensive since 2x2GB of 1066mhz which you'll want for oc'ing is £35 and 3x1GB is slightly less than that.
May 17, 2009 6:35:57 PM

Yeah but if you OC you can get a Q8400 on the cheap and it is better bang for the buck then the AMD 940 - at least according to this article.

940 - $190
Q8400 - $183

In Far Cry 2:

940 at 3.6 Ghz - 51.5 fps

Q8400 at 3.3 Ghz - 59.5 fps!!! - that was using the stock cooler - I have seen people with the Q8400 stable at 3.8 Ghz now - if it scales like it looks to do - that will beat the 940 by miles -read the article people and stop just saying what everybody already assumes - I wan to find more articles on this because if it is the case I won't be recommending the 940 or the 955 anymore for gamers who OC - the Q8400 with a higher multiplier than it's predecessors and VT will be the better buy.

As far as the test shows the extra cache is not good bang fro the buck - go with the Q8400 or the i7 - I challenge people to make retorts with references I want to know if this is really true and I won't just accept some of the wanton blabberings above (I didn't mean you Helloworld - that was a fine statement), I want to see evidence supporting your claims otherwise you might as well try convincing a concrete wall to juggle coconuts.

Thanks Randomizer for fixing the links it was my bad - sorry I didn't do it earlier.
May 17, 2009 7:17:59 PM

In the Article there aren't that many games tested, maybe Farcry just "likes" the Core 2 more.

It's a only 1 page article. I personnally don't really trust it, but that's also because I wouldn't like Intel to be the better bang for the buck (--> amd death)

what do you think does this mean that a Core 2 duo E8400 at 3.6 Ghz will also have a BIIIG adventag over a BE 720(3.6)?
May 17, 2009 7:44:20 PM

sorry I've read the whole article --- really looks good for Intel... forget my last post
May 17, 2009 7:44:42 PM

erdinger said:
In the Article there aren't that many games tested, maybe Farcry just "likes" the Core 2 more.

It's a only 1 page article. I personnally don't really trust it, but that's also because I wouldn't like Intel to be the better bang for the buck (--> amd death)

what do you think does this mean that a Core 2 duo E8400 at 3.6 Ghz will also have a BIIIG adventag over a BE 720(3.6)?


Well, for exactly the reasons you just stated I want to see if there are some other similar comparisons of the Q8400 when overclocked. I would also think it sad if AMD lost competition at this price point - but on the other hand I am not going to just ignore reality like some other people above - I want to see what the results are. As to whether or not I think it has a big advantage over the 720 BE - if it's gaming, then no - all you need is 3 cores for the moment so 4 cores is not needed until sometime (no one really knows when) in the future. The 720 BE is still significantly cheaper than the Q8400 - so it is better bang for buck in games. However if you want a 4 core - from all the tests I have seen so far it seems that (if you overclock) the Q8400 is better than the 940 - and thereby the 955 - for a 4 core gaming machine. Also you can pick up X48 boards a lot cheaper than decent 790FX boards (in the UK atleast - tell us about the states) so that gives you cheaper true 2 x 16 CF pathways - also better for gaming enthusiasts who want the most out of their 4770 CF or 4890 CF setups.

Again though, I would like to see more comparisons, so for the moment I take it with a grain of salt in AMD's favor and will advise system builders subsequently
May 17, 2009 7:46:14 PM

erdinger said:
sorry I've read the whole article --- really looks good for Intel... forget my last post


Thank you - judging by the comments you must be one of the first hehe

Although if you don't plan on overclocking then I think AMD has the lead - just for us enthusiasts who do it looks a bit different
May 17, 2009 7:56:32 PM

I'm going to build a pc and overclock for My final scool work (after 6 years of school) My aim is a gamer low budget pc (700 dollar) that can compete with an expensive gamer pc from a big store for 1000 dollar (just the places where "normal" people buy their pcs)

Now I've thought that the BE 720 was a great choise but when I hear that Core 2 is so much faster per clock I'm starting to think of buying the E8400.... sure 3 cores are more futureproof but the E8400(cual core) will overclock better and if it has even better performance per clock then I have to change my plans...

I know it's a little off topic but I just wanted to share my concerns
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May 17, 2009 8:12:37 PM

I would just like to point out that comparing a Q8400 to a Phenom II 940 in only Far Cry 2 is a bit biased as its proven Far Cry 2 just performs better with Intel.

Phenom II X4 940 looses to even a Q6600 when both are stock in far cry 2, while it easily beats the Q6600 in Left4Dead, Fallout 3, and narrowly beats it in Crysis Warhead.


May 17, 2009 8:14:32 PM

erdinger said:
I'm going to build a pc and overclock for My final scool work (after 6 years of school) My aim is a gamer low budget pc (700 dollar) that can compete with an expensive gamer pc from a big store for 1000 dollar (just the places where "normal" people buy their pcs)

Now I've thought that the BE 720 was a great choise but when I hear that Core 2 is so much faster per clock I'm starting to think of buying the E8400.... sure 3 cores are more futureproof but the E8400(cual core) will overclock better and if it has even better performance per clock then I have to change my plans...

I know it's a little off topic but I just wanted to share my concerns


If you overclock then the E7400 has exactly the same performance clock for clock as the E8400 - It is a cheaper and better choice - check out this article where it is the same as an E8600 clock for clock:

http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&articID=908
May 17, 2009 8:16:34 PM

loneninja said:
I would just like to point out that comparing a Q8400 to a Phenom II 940 in only Far Cry 2 is a bit biased as its proven Far Cry 2 just performs better with Intel.

Phenom II X4 940 looses to even a Q6600 when both are stock in far cry 2, while it easily beats the Q6600 in Left4Dead, Fallout 3, and narrowly beats it in Crysis Warhead.



Yes this is why we need some more comparisons with overclocked Q8400's against the 940/955 clock for clock
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May 17, 2009 8:23:54 PM

mcnuggetofdeath said:
Are you serious? The two go hand in hand. I did my research to find the best deal for the best price. I went with an e7400 for just that reason. And as to the price comparison, the q8400 is $5 cheaper on Newegg.


The only game in that article where the q8400 is ahead is far cry 2.

In the other three games the Phenom has a clear advantage , and right through the article the Phenom is generally better . The difference is easily worth the $5 price premium IMO
In the oc page you have to ask why they showed only the game result that favoured intel .
May 17, 2009 8:40:10 PM

Outlander_04 said:
The only game in that article where the q8400 is ahead is far cry 2.

In the other three games the Phenom has a clear advantage , and right through the article the Phenom is generally better . The difference is easily worth the $5 price premium IMO
In the oc page you have to ask why they showed only the game result that favoured intel .


Do you seriously think Anandtech is spintel!? I don't think so, but I would like to see the OC results for the other games, that's why I want to see some more articles like this
May 17, 2009 8:53:11 PM

Yeah I would also like to see more articles.

Far cry doesn't tell us enough.

@nerrawg how can it be that the E7400 with only 3 mb cache can get similar performace to a 8400 which has 6 mb cache?

I thought that Cache is an important part when it comes to games performance
May 17, 2009 8:54:02 PM

Usually, when they do an article, they show the better marks for that part vs the competition, since thats the essence of the article, its meant to show what the article is about, unless the part in question is a stinker, then they show how it fails in most things, but still show a few good results. Common practice
May 17, 2009 8:56:12 PM

erdinger said:
Yeah I would also like to see more articles.

Far cry doesn't tell us enough.

@nerrawg how can it be that the E7400 with only 3 mb cache can get similar performace to a 8400 which has 6 mb cache?

I thought that Cache is an important part when it comes to games performance


Nope - I thought so too but it turns out that 3mb of cache is the sweet spot for games and beyond that it is all really overkill (not much gain). At least in the case of the current architecture.

love that name-beer btw, one of the best beers I've had
May 17, 2009 9:01:49 PM

Thanks.

Hmm now i have to consider the E7400 or the 720Be but i still think the 720 be will make the game. Again I don't know if I should go with am3 + ddr2 ram, somehow it would overstrech the budget but futureproofness is nice.

I would like to continue my thoughts now but I will be in France for the next to days...... feel free to comment I will read it on wednesday.

720 Be or E7400? IF 720 am3 or am2+???
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May 17, 2009 9:22:39 PM

I dont think anandtech is spintel , but I think the article isnt complete enough to make a call that the q8400 is "better"

I run an e7300 at 3.33GHz . The cache isnt a big issue since most game benchmarks Ive run [ not many ]put it ahead of an e8400

But its clear that the 720 be is stronger than an e8400 at stock speeds , oc's well and is better at multitasking and multithreaded apps
DDR3 is worth the price difference now . There wont be cheap ddr2 in a few months, its yesterdays ram already
May 17, 2009 9:25:47 PM

Hmm future proofness - check out this article if you want - it is on that topic exactly:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264181-31-best-bang-b...

As for AM2+ vs. AM3 - because AM3 isn't triple channel I think it is really superfluous - I would save and get AM2+ - then upgrade to DDR3 later when it is triple (because the dual channel DDR3 boards are pointless IMO) Right now you can get DDR2 high speed and ultra low latency (4-4-4-15) timings for less than $60. Any improvements on that from faster DDR3 will probably not be worth the premium - however if you have seen comparisons showing this I would like to see them - all of those I have seen show hardly any benefit from DDR2 to DDR3 upgrade or from 1333 Mhz DDR3 to 2000 Mhz - at least worth the premium you pay for 2000Mhz RAM. Of course the Sandra scores look impressive with 6Gigs of OC'ed ram on a triple channel X58 board - but even those don't seem to do much for gaming yet.

720 BE will give you a bit of performance over the E7400 in multithreaded games - how much when both are OC'ed, I don't know. Single or dual threaded games will run faster on the OC'ed E7400 I think - but again I haven't really seen any comparisons of this directly - only E8000 series vs. the 720. Only real downside with the 720 is that it is a power-hog.
May 17, 2009 9:38:02 PM

Ummm, who ever said AMD is going tripple channel?
May 17, 2009 9:49:00 PM

B-Unit said:
Ummm, who ever said AMD is going tripple channel?


Nobody said it for sure - no one knows - it may or may not happen. Point was that triple channel architecture is more efficient than dual - so unless AMD skips it and goes quad or there is some other innovation, triple would be a logical step. In any of those cases dual channel DDR3 MOBOs are obsolete - I just don't see what advantage DDR3 really has until the boards cost the same - because the boards aren't different in any other way
May 17, 2009 10:11:28 PM

nerrawg said:
Nobody said it for sure - no one knows - it may or may not happen. Point was that triple channel architecture is more efficient than dual - so unless AMD skips it and goes quad or there is some other innovation, triple would be a logical step. In any of those cases dual channel DDR3 MOBOs are obsolete - I just don't see what advantage DDR3 really has until the boards cost the same - because the boards aren't different in any other way


http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1665/intel_core_i7_memory_analysis_can_dual_channel_cut_it/index5.html

Im not seeing the big advantage for triple here in anything but synthetics. Yea, its faster, but not faster enuf to wait for.
May 17, 2009 10:27:39 PM

B-Unit said:
http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/1665/intel_core_i7_memory_analysis_can_dual_channel_cut_it/index5.html

Im not seeing the big advantage for triple here in anything but synthetics. Yea, its faster, but not faster enuf to wait for.


Good article that - it exemplifies the advantages with triple channel - look at the gaming tests (too bad its only crysis) and you can see that the triple channel advantage scales as the speed increases (1 fps at 1066 Mhz and 3 fps at 1600 Mhz). This is because technically the dual channel is less efficient at higher speeds (or triple channel is more efficient - better way to look at it). If you look at comparisons between DDR2 and DRR3 you can see small increases due to the speed differences - but they are a far cry from those seen in Sandra and other synthetics - that is why RAM is really not the best thing to upgrade if you want bang for the buck in gaming. If you want to take full advantage of your DDR3 RAM's increased speeds - you really should have triple channel - because once the speed approaches and surpasses 2000Mhz there is little benefit from dual architecture - the bus width hampers it. This is why triple channel + DDR3 is better for the enthusiast and DDR2 + a better GPU is better for the gamer looking for value, taking into consideration current prices. What's the point in shelling out an extra $40 on an AM3 board and an extra $10-40 on the RAM - just to see 1-2 fps increases!? For that money you mine as well spend more on the GPU or CPU - especially when if you really wanted to go enthusiast you would get a Core i7 anyways. And that is why I don't see the point of AM3 until it costs the same as AM2+

sry - edited
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May 17, 2009 10:57:26 PM

What are you talking about? Triple channel has nothing to do with the access times - all it does is in effect increase the bandwidth. It does this through increased bus width, but it is also more expensive. There is no reason why dual channel could not scale well past DDR3-1600 (although from what I have seen, to truly take advantage of high speed DDR3, the AMD memory controller needs to be overclocked).
May 17, 2009 11:10:11 PM

cjl said:
What are you talking about? Triple channel has nothing to do with the access times - all it does is in effect increase the bandwidth. It does this through increased bus width, but it is also more expensive. There is no reason why dual channel could not scale well past DDR3-1600 (although from what I have seen, to truly take advantage of high speed DDR3, the AMD memory controller needs to be overclocked).


Do you mean dual channel scaling well at higher speeds compared to itself or compared to triple channel at the same speeds - because I would like to see if you have any articles on this. I got the impression that triple channel moves farther and farther away from the performance of dual channel as the speed increases?
May 17, 2009 11:46:01 PM

Perhaps your referring to DDR2 1200 , 1333, and beyond? Seeing as the bus speed is closer to the frequency off the RAM perhaps you mean that a higher FSB or Hyper Transport or QPI or whatever is able to utilize the available RAM more effectively, rather than having DDR3 2000 bottlenecked by a low Hyper Transport or QPI as these determine the rate at which the CPU is able to interface with the memory.
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May 18, 2009 12:07:37 AM

nerrawg said:
Do you mean dual channel scaling well at higher speeds compared to itself or compared to triple channel at the same speeds - because I would like to see if you have any articles on this. I got the impression that triple channel moves farther and farther away from the performance of dual channel as the speed increases?

In the ideal case (a perfect memory controller), triple channel will always have exactly the same latency and exactly 1.5x the bandwidth of dual channel with all other factors the same. It's the same idea as with graphics cards - the 384 bit bus on the G80 core should have exactly 1.5x the bandwidth and exactly the same latency of the 256 bit bus on the G92. Both should have perfect linear scaling with frequency (I.E. DDR3-2000 is exactly twice the bandwidth of DDR3-1000, regardless of interface). From the tests I've seen, there's also some architectural advantage with Intel's memory controller, where an I7 with tri channel will have >1.5x the bandwidth of an AM3 dual channel setup with the same RAM. This has nothing to do with an inherent advantage to tri channel though, and this will probably be seen when the dual channel Intel IMCs start showing up later this year.

Of course, the question then becomes whether the extra bandwidth from tri channel is really needed. In the case of most desktop applications, the answer is fairly resoundingly no.
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