How good is the AMD Phenom II 940?

Hey guys, I have a question which might be old news to some people.

Situation: About a year and a half ago, Phenom II chips were coming on the market and I needed a PC upgrade. I bought a M3N-HT motherboard from Asus, and a AMD Phenom II 940 x4 3.0ghz. At the time, I was unaware that you needed to update the bios in order to have that chip work on this specific mobo, so I thought that my chip or mobo was DOA. I had to RMA both of them since I didn't have the hardware to test them out and see which one was dead. But RMAs can be a long process and I needed a PC fast, so I bought a freshly released AMD 955 chip, and a AM3 socket compatible mobo from Asus again. Once the DOA parts came back to me, I realized I needed to update the BIOS, and I got lazy. So I put both those items in my closet, tried to sell them, but they didn't take. Afterward I got married, moved to a different house, bla bla bla, I completely forgot I owned those parts. Recently, I've been wondering how I could cheaply upgrade my wife computer (our spare machine/ office PC) in order to play violent games away from the kids. (My main PC is plugged to our big TV and holds my best GPUs). Last night, while sitting on the throne in the middle of the night, I suddenly remembered about those parts. So the next morning I plugged my wife's crappy little 2.3ghz quad to it, updated the bios, and then put the 940 bad ass on it.

Alright, now that the story is out of the way; while installing Windows Vista 64bit Ultimate, I realized that my machine was setting up slowly. Once Windows was ready, I installed all the drivers and did a windows experience index check to see if my CPU was running slower than usual. My 3.2ghz AMD downstairs is scoring 7.3, yet this slightly weaker 3ghz (both are Phenom II, 940 vs 955, both Black Edition) had a shocking low score of 5.9!!

1. AMD Phenom II 955 BE, plugged to an Asus M4N82, with an Ultra Chilltech CPU cooler: score is 7.3

2. AMD Phenom II 940 BE, plugged to an Asus M3N-HT, with Stock cooler: score 5.9

-Is this normal?

-Does anyone think I might have done something wrong?

-I do realize the Windows Experience Index is not reliable half the time. Are there any software out there that would let me benchmark the CPU alone, without influence from GPUs or etc?

- Could CPU coolers and motherboards make such a difference in CPU performance as to boost the score another 1.4 points?

It seems to me that logically, both CPUs should perform with very close performance scores.... please enlighten me!
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  1. Best answer
    Vistas WEI scores are capped at 5.9 IIRC You must've got the 7.3 from a Win7 one.

    But WEI is totally inaccurate unless you have the same system and is simply upgrading. At stock, the real net performance difference between the 955 and 940 is 200Mhz, or ~6%.
  2. Hey that's true Timop! I completely forgot about that stupid cap. Needless to say I will be upgrading to Win7 on that second PC as well. I hate how every time I format and re-install windows vista, it takes a whole week of updating sporadically before Service Pack 2 shows up in the updates.

    Thanks for the name drop ct1615, that software is probably a better way of testing that CPU's true speed.

    Sometimes I just feel like no matter what I throw at Vista, it takes it and gets hungry for more. What a resource sucker!
  3. Ok, according to Cinebench:

    AMD PhenomII 955 3.2ghz = 3.73 points
    AMD PhenomII 940 3.0ghz = 3.53 points

    That seems more realistic now.
  4. Best answer selected by Senvae.
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