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.