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Performance Summary

AMD's Piledriver And K10 CPU Architectures Face Off

We’ll summarize our performance testing relative to the least expensive processor in today’s round-up. Of course, what matters more than the averages is how each CPU performs in the workloads most important to you.

Sporting a quartet of physical cores, the Athlon II X4 640 often dominates its price bracket in productivity-oriented metrics and overall measures of performance. However, that advantage disappears in today’s comparison, as all five of these CPUs juggle at least four simultaneous threads.

There is no other way to put it: the Athlon II X4 640 is simply outclassed. Worse, perhaps, is that, even cranked up to 3.6 GHz with a 2.4 GHz CPU-NB frequency, the Propus-based processor is not able to drive our games sufficiently well. We know that a lack of L3 cache stifled performance. After all, the stock 3.4 GHz Phenom II X4 fared significantly better.

The good news is that the enthusiast-friendly Athlon X4 750K and Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition both get the job done for just a bit more money AMD's FX-4350 performs even better. And most impressive of all is the FX-6350 with its six integer cores, topping the charts in seven out of eight games and completely dominating in Crysis 3.

While the Athlon II X4 640 came up short in our battery of compression utilities, where memory bandwidth likely affected performance, its quad-core architecture proved more capable in productivity applications and Adobe's Premiere Pro than the twin-module composition of AMD's Athlon X4 750K. Plenty of shared L3 cache helps the Phenom II X4 catch the newer Piledriver design in WinRAR, WinZip, and 7-Zip, while further improving our productivity benchmark scores.

Once again though, the FX-6350 shines brightest. Single-threaded tests like iTunes, LAME, and Adobe Acrobat cut into its overall dominance, but those two extra cores are put to good use in most of the other applications.

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