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Test Setup And Benchmarks

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Review
Test Hardware
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (Deneb) 3.4 GHz, AM3, 2,000 MHz HT, 6 MB L3 Cache, Power-savings enabled

AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (Deneb) 3.2 GHz, AM3, 2,000 MHz HT, 6 MB L3 Cache, Power-savings enabled

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (Heka) 2.8 GHz, AM2+, 2,000 MHz HT, 6 MB L3 Cache, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S (Yorkfield) 2.83 GHz, LGA 775, 1,333 MHz FSB, 12 MB L2, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7 920 (Bloomfield) 2.66 GHz, LGA 1366, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8 MB L3, Power-savings enabled
Asus M4A79T Deluxe (AM3) 790FX/SB750, BIOS 0066

Gigabyte EP45-UD3P (LGA 775) P45/ICH10R, BIOS F9

Asus P6T (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10R, BIOS 0502
Corsair 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ DDR3-1333

Corsair 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ DDR3-1333
Hard Drive
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300 GB 10,000 RPM SATA 3 Gb/s
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 2 GB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64, Service Pack 1
DirectX 10
Platform Driver
Catalyst 9.7

Intel INF Chipset Update Utility
Graphics Driver
Catalyst 9.7

By popular demand, we're setting aside the hardware from our 2009 reference platform to arm these test configurations with a Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card. Not only will this more-powerful board do a better job exposing potential platform bottlenecks (especially in gaming tests), but it's also an integral part of AMD's Dragon platform, which most folks seem interested in compiling.

Note also that we're using a Core 2 Quad Q9550S instead of the less-expensive Core 2 Quad Q9550. This is the model to which we have access. It performs exactly like a Q9550, but will affect our power measurements. This is mentioned in the analysis for power consumption.

Benchmarks and Settings

3D Games

Stalker: Clear Sky

Quality settings set to high, 1920x1200/1680x1050, Benchmark tool, average of all four scenarios

Far Cry 2

Quality settings set to high, 1920x1200/1680x1050, latest Steam version, in-game benchmark (Ranch medium).

Left 4 Dead

Quality settings set to max, 1920x1200/1680x1050, latest Steam version, timed demo.


High Quality Setting, vsync off, 1680x1050/1920x1200, DirectX 10, Ambient Occlusion: High, Patch 1.2

Audio Encoding


Version:, Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98 (64-bit), Audio CD ""Terminator II" SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160 Kb/s

Video Encoding


Version:, Import File: "Terminator II" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.5

Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-Threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search

XviD 1.2.1

Display encoding status=off

Mainconcept Reference 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 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core


Autodesk 3ds Max 2009 (64-bit)

Version: 2009, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

WinRAR 3.90 Beta 1

Version 3.90 Beta 1, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

WinZip 12

Version 12, Compression=Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player

SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP3

CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark

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