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New AMD Phenom X3 Vs. Phenom X4

Results: Phenom - Fantastic Price, But High Power Consumption In Idle Mode

The most important discovery to come out of this comparison test: Per core, the three core Phenom requires considerably less energy than the quad core version, assuming the same clocking rate. This begs the question, what has AMD done to the X3 core. The core voltage which has been dropped by roughly 0.1 volt can’t be the only answer. Especially as both Phenom CPUs are the Barcelona version.

The high power consumption in idle mode has remained as before, actually when examined carefully, this value has increased. Compared to the Phenom with B2 stepping, the B3 version is more wasteful in terms of power consumption. The performance of the tri-core Phenom X3 is not exactly revolutionary compared to the Dual-Core Athlon 64 X2. The reason for this is that the clock rate is too low compared to the dual core Athlon. But, the pricing range selected by AMD is fair.

For video and 3D rendering tasks, the Phenom X3 gains points over the Athlon 64 X2 due to the third CPU core. The same applies when comparing it to the Core 2 Duo E6550 from Intel which costs just as much. For office purposes and for dual core applications, both the Athlon 64 X2 and the Core 2 Duo E6550 are faster.

If the Phenom X3 is pushed to its performance limits, for example, when encoding videos, the energy consumption of its three cores is considerably lower than that of an Athlon 64 X2, this making the Phenom the more efficient unit.

If you are looking to put together an office PC for Internet use or a living room PC (HTPC) for video output from Blu-Ray or HDTV sources, you can use a Phenom X3 with no second thoughts. The performance is sufficient as the current H.264 codecs work in conjunction with three processor cores. The Phenom X3 with its additional third core allows the PC operating system to respond quicker than a dual core processor.

In conjunction with the 780G platform AMD can provide a cheaper complete basic system than Intel. These platforms, named "Cartwheel" by AMD offer, unlike Intel equivalents, current G35 chip sets, full HD video support with HDCP and a considerably improved graphics performance. Thus enabling AMD to offer this as the ideal platform for multimedia and office PCs.

  • rhorwitz
    The Phenom is a still born product, much like the K-5 back 15 years ago. AMD is facing bankruptcy and all they can do is piss away money to release a product that can't even compare with the technology they made 5 years ago. How pathetic!! AMD would have been more successful if they invested in shrinking existing technology to 45 nm and and placing two 2-cores on a chip like Intel.
    Reply
  • yadge
    On page 12, I think you mean the X3 8750 is 3.2% faster than the Core 2 Duo E6550.
    Reply
  • Arnagath
    Well as it is now, amd can turn of a core and we have the X3, so I think it is the smarter solution. Sort of more long term than intels choice, intel still has not caught up with AMD in some areas and this is one area.

    I still have faith the tide can always be turned, something you thought impossible with Pentium D vs AMD 64 X2. So it can happen again, if not I think we should make the EU take money from intel and give to AMD :P
    Reply
  • rhorwitz
    Arnagath,
    Intel's interim solution was the Pentium D, which was basically taking two P4 and placing them on a chip. It didn't match AMD's performance, but it kept them in the hunt. AMD's response to conroe should have been the same; take two shrunken k8+x2 and place on a die. In this fashion they could have created some distance so that they could have come to a proactive solution to Intel's salvo.
    Reply
  • caamsa
    My understanding is that these X3 phenoms are in place of a X2 phenom.

    Got this from AnandTech:

    AMD doesn't have the resources to spin a dual-core Phenom die, so what better way of repurposing the quad-core die (especially if one core is defective) than to make a Phenom chip with less than four cores. Sure it's not the most efficient way to manufacture, but AMD doesn't have the luxury of producing a number of different Phenom die at this point. The triple-core Phenom strategy makes perfect sense if you're AMD, the question is: does it make sense if you're an end user?
    Reply
  • lopopo
    rhorwitzThe Phenom is a still born product, much like the K-5 back 15 years ago. AMD is facing bankruptcy and all they can do is piss away money to release a product that can't even compare with the technology they made 5 years ago. How pathetic!! AMD would have been more successful if they invested in shrinking existing technology to 45 nm and and placing two 2-cores on a chip like Intel.
    very true
    Reply
  • i think your totally mistaken
    Reply
  • cabose369
    The small Phenom X3 model, the 8750, clocks at a rate of 2.10 GHz. When compared to the Athlon 64 6400+ with 3.20 GHz and 6000+ with 3.00 GHz, it simply can’t keep up for many applications.

    I think you mean to say the small Phenom X3 model, the 8450.
    Reply
  • callahs
    I've gone from x2-4200 to a new intel E8400. What a difference! I paid half as much ($189 and 4 gig of ddr800@ $59)and the intel chip just crushes the AMD in every way at stock settings. With the difference of 2 1/2 yrs, AMD should have produced quads soon after with the old x2 format but that may have only treaded water against the conroe. Intel did their homework and gets an 'A'.

    I'd like to see the sony 'core' put into action other than yellow dogs lunix or Mercury's blader...sweeeet. They have six unit ps3's making 1 tflop @ 19k! :}
    Reply
  • quanger
    i wouldnt waste my money on a triple core phenom when i can get a 6400X2 for less. I wouldnt even consider it if they were the same price. These phenom triple cores may sell more than X2 because its easier to market if one product has more "cores". Anyways, AMD should stop dicking around and focus on raising the Phenom X4 clocks quicker.
    Reply