Athlon II X3 435: AMD's Three-Core, 2.9 GHz, $87 Triple-Threat

Application Benchmarks: Media Encoding

We begin our media encoding benchmarks with Lame and iTunes:

Both of these benchmarks seem to favor clock rate over threading optimizations or cache, as performance is directly related to clock rate, regardless of other factors. With a mere 100 MHz between them, the Athlon II X3 435 and Phenom II X3 720 demonstrate almost identical results, while the overclocked 435 walks away with the win. The Athlon II X4's quad-core CPU isn't helping here. In fact, its low clock gives it the slowest performance in these two non-threaded benchmark tests. The Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 CPUs exploit their high clock speeds for a win here.

TMPGEnc, known for its ability to utilize multiple cores, demonstrates opposite results: when the DivX codec is used, multiple threads are taken advantage of and the Athlon II X4 shows the best stock performance. The Xvid codec doesn't appear to employ multiple threads however, and the best performance comes from high clock speed alone. This is where the Athlon II X2 and Phenom II X2 show their stuff.

MainConcept Reference also shows off its multi-threaded encoder, with the Athlon II X4 garnering a win among the stock models. Not surprisingly, the overclocked Athlon II X3 435 boasts the best result when we run outside of specifications.

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  • AMD CPUs been appealing to budget builders lately :)
    29
  • AMD is really thriving in the budget sector, I wonder how the i3's will affect the market. I hope AMD can get back to head to head with Intel on the high end though.
    25
  • Smart move by AMD by attacking the budget crowd (especially around the holiday season). I am surprised how well this thing did against the X2 550! Seems like a good candidate for a budget gaming/multipurpose build. Any release dates available (for NewEgg)?
    22
  • Other Comments
  • AMD CPUs been appealing to budget builders lately :)
    29
  • I think my HTPC just found its new processor, been running a 5200+ for the last while
    21
  • AMD is really thriving in the budget sector, I wonder how the i3's will affect the market. I hope AMD can get back to head to head with Intel on the high end though.
    25
  • Smart move by AMD by attacking the budget crowd (especially around the holiday season). I am surprised how well this thing did against the X2 550! Seems like a good candidate for a budget gaming/multipurpose build. Any release dates available (for NewEgg)?
    22
  • this is awesome but (and its a big one) i kinda wanted to see something that pwns intels core i7 in everything. Kind of like what they are doing in the graphics department but total domination. How long will i wait!!!
    -8
  • 3 cores at almost 3Ghz for this cheap? Hmmm not a huge AMD fan but this is plenty of CPU for most people. I would snap one up if I was building a system right now.
    22
  • That's one impressive little chip! Pair this with a 770 chipset and you'd have the basis for a cheap and cheerful gaming PC!
    6
  • lemonade4http://media.bestofmicro.com/O/H/2 [...] 0Stock.jpg2 cores 2 threads?


    Aha! Thanks for catching that. After I had done the testing I was playing around with disabling CPU cores in the OS, and I forgot to turn them back on to take the screenshot. Fixed!
    1
  • did the disable core of Athlon II X3 435 can be unlock ?
    1
  • a mobile version of this = PWNAGE.
    3
  • The RAR and 7z archive formats make use of a large size 'dictionary': a small store of patterns that, when used on a solid archive, can help achieve very high compression ratios. If this dictionary can be made to fit in fast memory (ie. cache), then comparing its patterns to currently compressed data can yield tremendous speed improvements:
    - the dictionary doesn't have to be called from RAM on every new data page, which frees memory bandwidth
    - when the dictionary is half the size of cache, then uncompressed data can fit in cache too, thus actual compression doesn't need 'paging' from memory.

    As an example, the PKZIP algorithm (used in .zip files) has a fixed dictionary size of 64 kb; .zip can't handle solid file compression either (the same algorithm can be found in gzip, but when used with the tar archiver, can in essence achieve solid file archiving, which can yield non negligible compression improvements).

    In 7-zip, when creating the archive, try setting up the dictionary at a size lower than half the biggest consolidated cache the least gifted CPU has, and compare again: performance will in fact be rather close. However, if you go over the cache's size, performance plummets.

    About AVG appreciating core counts better than CPU speed: this could be explained by how I/O intensive a virus scan is; and since Vista sucks at I/O, what's left to compare are how many file handles can be opened and used simultaneously. A test that could be done:
    - Install AVG on Vista, XP and Linux
    - Run a scan on the same file set (be mindful though that the Linux file set should be put on an ext3 filesystem, NTFS access still being rather CPU intensive on Linux)
    - see if there are differences.
    1
  • with mutlicore cpus reaching sub $100 pricepoints, do developers still have an excuse that "not everybody" has a multicore rig?

    even an atom netbook can do 2 thread simultaneously.
    8
  • kudos to amd for launching budget options ... look at core lga775 prices they havent moved as expected even with lynnfield ... htpcs are going to benefit especially with the low power options ... 3 cores great for encoding and bluray playback etc ...
    5
  • And I thought I would wait till new year for an extra build for my household. Great AMD!
    I really hope they get their act together and hit Intel hard on their flagships just as they did with Nvidia.
    1
  • This way no one will buy Intel for budget rigs...
    6
  • Go AMD!
    2
  • "We will also be simulating an Athlon II X3 720 with a Phenom II X4 965 by lowering the CPU multiplier and disabling the forth CPU core"
    0
  • "We will also be simulating an Athlon II X3 720 with a Phenom II X4 965 by lowering the CPU multiplier and disabling the forth CPU core" Close but not quite, heads up.

    Nice article by the way and I haven't even gotten to the benchmarks.
    2
  • Pretty amazing performance for such an extremely low price.
    Looking at the gaming benchmarks I'm impressed.
    1