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Conclusion

AMD Phenom vs. Athlon Core Shootout
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The initial comparisons between the new quad core Phenom and the Intel processors weren't favorable for AMD, as Phenom cannot compete with Intel's top of the line Core 2 offerings. Especially out of reach for AMD is the 45 nm Penryn generation, which was presented some weeks ago as the new Core 2 Extreme QX9770, and which will launch into the mainstream in January. Once again, Intel seems to be almost one manufacturing cycle ahead, as it is about to switch from 65 nm to 45 nm. Meanwhile, AMD is still struggling at 65 nm. Consequently, its strategy was adjusted to attack the mainstream.

Despite all the delays and Phenom's L3 TLD bug, there is nothing wrong with Barcelona from the standpoint of how it was designed. We found noticeable performance advantages in every benchmark, which proves that Phenom is indeed faster than the Athlon 64 X2. In order to get a true core to core comparison, we ran both an Athlon 64 X2 and the Phenom using only a single processing core. This way, we were able to find evidence for AMD's claims of 25% better performance on Phenom when compared to Athlon 64 X2. While the single core comparison didn't show that much of an increase, we should consider that you'll be using three more cores in productive environments.

Some of you may now point to the performance increase Intel was able to achieve when it went from the Pentium D to the Core 2 Duo. Compare Prices on Core 2 Duo Processors Looking at the performance gains and the performance per watt ratio, AMD certainly didn't make such a leap, but Phenom doesn't represent such a major generation change either. Let's hope that AMD can finally fix the remaining bugs with Phenom and get the manufacturing to a level that allows Phenom to run cool and quicker, and to enable the company to be profitable in its core business. Until then, there is no option but to leer at the upgrade market.

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  • 0 Hide
    spearhead , June 19, 2008 1:18 AM
    its architecture it fine but
    it is clock speed the phenom lacks. if amd can just bump its speed up to around 3ghz-3.6ghz then it would make good competition towards faster intels. i can conclude from this benchmark that if you buy an phenom 9850 and clock it around 3ghz you have much more horse power then you would have with an athlon x2 6000+ however some benchmarks might tell you something else it makes sence if you use 1066mhz memory or just 800mhz mem
  • 0 Hide
    tagasur , June 27, 2008 12:08 PM
    i wish tom's would update this topic with new benchmarks on the amd phenom 9850be. i'd like to know if it's more stable now that the "nasty bug" has been remedied with the march 2008 product line refresh.
  • 0 Hide
    brian1143 , March 11, 2009 11:28 PM
    Well this review says its not much more performance. I'm upgrading from 939 and actually thinking of getting the $60 AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 (AM2+) and OC it to at least 3ghz and run 1066 memory. I'd rather save the money for the future rather than have a few extra FPS.

    Intel's core i7 really is clearly the better processor with more headroom, but AMD has always had them in the price to performance ratio department. AMD isn't going away and perhaps they can make a better processor like when Athlon 64 came out or at least close the gap and let their price to performance ratio carry them the rest of the way. (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-phenom-ii,2119.html)

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    mypobox , September 27, 2010 3:07 PM
    Is an athlon II x3 really better then a phenom I x4 for 73$ at newegg ??