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Test Setup And Benchmarks

AMD Athlon II X4 620: Quad Core For The Masses At $100
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For comparison, we squared off Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q8200 (2.33 GHz), Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83 GHz), and the Core 2 Duo E8600 (3.33 GHz) against AMD’s Phenom II X2 550 (3.1 GHz) and the Phenom II X4 965 BE (3.4 GHz). For more comprehensive processor comparisons, please have a look at our 2009 Desktop CPU Charts.

System Hardware
Hardware
Details
Performance Benchmarks
Motherboard (Socket AM3)
Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P (Rev. 1.0)
Chipset: AMD 790GX, SB750
BIOS: 5c (04/01/2009)
RAM DDR3 (Dual)
2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 (Corsair CM3X2G1600C9DHX)
2 x 1GB DDR3-1600 (Crucial BL12864BA1608.8SFB)
Power Benchmarks
Motherboard (Socket AM3)
MSI 770-C45 (Rev. 1.1)
Chipset: AMD 770GX, SB710
BIOS: 1.2
RAM DDR3 (Dual)
2 x 2GB DDR3-1600 (Corsair TR3X6G-1600C8D 8-8-8-24)
Common Hardware
CPU AMD I
AMD Phenom II X4 965 (45nm, 3.4 GHz, 4 x 512KB L2 and 6MB L3 Cache, TDP 140W, Rev. C2)
CPU AMD II
AMD Phenom II X2 550 (45nm, 3.1 GHz, 2 x 512KB L2 and 6MB L3 Cache, TDP 80W, Rev. C2)
CPU AMD III
AMD Athlon II X4 620 (45nm, 2.6 GHz, 4 x 512KB L2 Cache, TDP 95W, Rev. C2)
Graphics
Zotac GeForce GTX 260²
GPU: GeForce GTX 260 (576 MHz)
Graphics RAM: 896MB DDR3 (1998 MHz)
Stream Processors: 216
Shader Clock: 1242 MHz
Hard Drive
Western Digital VelociRaptor, 300GB (WD3000HLFS)
10,000 RPM, SATA/300, 16MB Cache
Blu-Ray Drive
LG GGW-H20L, SATA/150
Power supply
PC Power & Cooling, Silencer 750EPS12V 750W
System Software and Drivers
Operating System
Windows Vista Enterprise Version 6.0 x64
Service Pack 2 (Build 6000)
Drivers and Settings
AMD Chipset Drivers
Catalyst 9.4
Intel Chipset Drivers
Chipset Installation Utility Ver. 9.1.0.1012
Intel Storage Drivers
Matrix Storage Drivers Ver. 8.8.0.1009


We used an efficient motherboard for our power testing, the MSI 770-C45, since we wanted to be sure that the power consumption levels of our comparison would reflect everyday use. In other words, hardly anyone will purchase the $100 Athlon II X4 processor and run it on a high-end motherboard. Our Gigabyte’s MX790FXT-UD5P remained the platform for all performance benchmarks.

Benchmarks

3D Games Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmarks
Details
Far Cry 2
Version: 1.0.1
Far Cry 2 Benchmark Tool
Video Mode: 1280x800
Direct3D 9
Overall Quality: Medium
Bloom activated
HDR off
Demo: Ranch Small
GTA IV
Version: 1.0.3
Video Mode: 1280x1024
- 1280x1024
- Aspect Ratio: Auto
- All options: Medium
- View Distance: 30
- Detail Distance: 100
- Vehicle Density: 100
- Shadow Density: 16
- Definition: On
- Vsync: Off
In-game Benchmark
Left 4 Dead
Version: 1.0.0.5
Video Mode: 1280x800
Game Settings
- Anti Aliasing none
- Filtering Trilinear
- Wait for vertical sync disabled
- Shader Detail Medium
- Effect Detail Medium
- Model/Texture Detail Medium
Demo: THG Demo 1
Audio Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmarks
Details
iTunes
Version: 8.1.0.52
Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min.
Convert to AAC audio format
Lame MP3
Version 3.98
Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min
convert WAV to MP3 audio format
Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kbps)
Video Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmarks
Details
TMPEG 4.6
Version: 4.6.3.268
Video: Terminator 2 SE DVD (720x576, 16:9) 5 Minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-Kanal, English
Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 Kbps, 44.1 kHz)
DivX 6.8.5
Version: 6.8.5
== Main Menu ==
default
== Codec Menu ==
Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Enhanced multithreading
Enabled using SSE4
Quarter-pixel search
== Video Menu ==
Quantization: MPEG-2
XviD 1.2.1
Version: 1.2.1
Other Options / Encoder Menu -
Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.6.1
Version: 1.6.1
MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264)
MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec
28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)
Audio:
MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16 Bit, 224 kbps)
Codec: H.264
Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Profile: Settings for eight threads
Adobe Premiere pro CS4
Version: 4.0
WMV 1920x1080 (39 sec)
Export: Adobe Media Encoder
== Video ==
H.264 Blu-ray
1440x1080i 25 High Quality
Encoding Passes: one
Bitrate Mode: VBR
Frame: 1440x1080
Frame Rate: 25
== Audio ==
PCM Audio, 48 kHz, Stereo
Encoding Passes: one
Application Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmarks
Details
Grisoft AVG Anti Virus 8
Version: 8.5.287
Virus base: 270.12.16/2094
Benchmark
Scan: some compressed ZIP and RAR archives
Winrar 3.9
Version 3.90 x64 BETA 1
Compression = Best
Benchmark: THG-Workload
Winzip 12
Version 12.0 (8252)
WinZIP Commandline Version 3
Compression = Best
Dictionary = 4096 KB
Benchmark: THG-Workload
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 2009
Version: 9 x64
Rendering Dragon Image
Resolution: 1920 x 1280 (frame 1-5)
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-Bit)
Version: 11
Filtering a 16MB TIF (15000x7266)
Filters:
Radial Blur (Amount: 10; Method: zoom; Quality: good)
Shape Blur (Radius: 46 px; custom shape: Trademark symbol)
Median (Radius: 1px)
Polar Coordinates (Rectangular to Polar)
Adobe Acrobat 9 professional
Version: 9.0.0 (Extended)
== Printing Preferenced Menu ==
Default Settings: Standard
== Adobe PDF Security - Edit Menu ==
Encrypt all documents (128 bit RC4)
Open Password: 123
Permissions Password: 321
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007
Version: 2007 SP2
PPT to PDF
Powerpoint Document (115 Pages)
Adobe PDF-Printer
Deep Fritz 11
Version: 11
Fritz Chess Benchmark Version 4.2
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
Benchmarks
Details
3DMark Vantage
Version: 1.02
Options: Performance
Graphics Test 1
Graphics Test 2
CPU Test 1
CPU Test 2
PCMark Vantage
Version: 1.00
PCMark Benchmark
Memories Benchmark
SiSoftware Sandra 2009
Version: 2009 SP3
Processor Arithmetic, Cryptography, Memory Bandwith