AMD Phenom vs. Athlon Core Shootout

Test Setup

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System Hardware
AMD Platform AM2(AMD 790FX)Asus M3A32-MVP Deluxe, Rev.1.02GAMD 790FX, BIOS : 0603 (11/30/2007)
2x 1 GB Corsair DDR2-800CM2X1024-8888-C4D, Timings 4-4-4-12
DVD-ROMSamsung SH-D163A , SATA150
Graphics CardGigabyte Radeon HD 3850 GV-RX385512HGPU : 670 MHzMemory : 512 MB DDR3 (830 MHz, 256 Bit)
Sound CardIntegrated
Power SupplyCoolermaster RS-850-EMBA, ATX 12V V2.2, 850 Watt
System Software & Drivers
OSWindows Vista Enterprise Version 6.0 (Build 6000)
DirectX 10DirectX 10 (Vista default)
DirectX 9Version : April 2007
Graphics CardATI Radeon Version 7.11 (54440)
AMD-ChipsetVersion 3.0.642 (28/11/2008)
JavaJava Runtime Environment 6.0 Update 1

Benchmarks and Settings

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3D Games
Warhammer Mark of ChaosVersion : 1.006.000Video Mode : 1280x1024Video Quality : game defaultMultiple CPU/CoreDemo : THG Timedemo (1 minutes)
Quake 4Version : 1.3 FinalVideo Mode : 1280x1024Video Quality : game defaultMulticore offVideo Quality : MediumBenchmark I : THG TimedemoBenchmark II : playnettimedemo id_demo001(official ID-Soft NetTimeDemo)
Unreal Tournament 2004Version : 3369UMark : 2.0.0Video Mode : 1280x1024High Image QualityBots : 16Benchmark : AS-Junkyard
Serious Sam 2Version : 2.070Video Mode : 1024x768HDR Rendering : offRenderer : Direct3DFiltering mode : noneAntialiasing mode : noneBenchmark : Greendale
Supreme CommanderVersion : 3.220Video Mode : 1024x768Video Quality : game defaultVsync = offBenchmark : real 60 second gamewith real three computer physics
PreyVersion : 1.3Video Mode : 1280x1024Video Quality : game defaultVsync = offBenchmark : THG-Demo
iTunes 7.2Version : CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minMP3 High Quality (160 kbps)
Lame MP3Version 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007)Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 minwave to mp3160 kbps
Pinnacle Studio 11 PlusVersion : and Transition RenderingPrivate MPEG2-Cam-MovieVideo : 720 x 480 Pixel, NTSC, 6000 kbits/secAudio : MPEG Layer 2, 224 kbits/sec 16 Bit, Stereo 48 kHzFile Type : MPEG-2 (DVD Compatible)
TMPEGVersion : file : Terminator 2 SE DVD (720x576, 16:9) 2 MinutesDolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-Kanal, EnglishAdvanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 kbps)
DivXVersion : 6.6.1- Main Menu -Profile : Home Theater Profile (720 x 576)1-pass, 780 kbit/s- Codec Menu -Encoding mode : Insane QualityEnhanced multithreading
XviDVersion : 1.1.2 (01/11/2006)Target quantizer : 1.00 (maximum quality)
Clone DVD 2Version : 2.908DVD "Terminator II SE" (English version)Transcoding from DVD-9 to DVD-4.7Audio : English Dolby AC-3/6 (surround) - DTSSubtitle : no
Mainconcept H.264 EncoderVersion : 2.0MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264)MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec24 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)Audio : MPEG Layer 2 (48 kHz, 2 Channel, 16 Bit)Stream : TransportCodec : H.264Mode : NTSC (29.97 FPS)Profile : High
WinrarVersion 3.70 BETA 8Compression = BestDictionary = 4096 kBBenchmark : THG-Workload
Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9Version : 9.0Rendering a Dragon picturerendering HTDV 1920x1080
Maxon Cinema 4D Release 10Version : 10.008Rendering from a scene"Water drop at a Rose"Resolution : 1280 x 1024 - 8Bit (50 frames)
Adobe Photoshop CS 3Version : 10.0x20070321Filtering from a 69 MB TIF-PhotoBenchmark : Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4Programmed by Tom’s Hardware using Delphi 2006Filters : Crosshatch, Glass, Sumi-e, Accented Edges, Angled Strokes, Sprayed Strokes
Deep Fritz 10Version : Nov 16 2006
3DMark06Version : 1.101280x1024 - 32 bitGraphics and CPU Default Benchmark
PCMark05 ProVersion : 1.2.0CPU and Memory TestsWindows Media Player Media Encoder
SiSoftware Sandra XI SP1cVersion 2007.5.11.40CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMediaMemory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • spearhead
    its architecture it fine but
    it is clock speed the phenom lacks. if amd can just bump its speed up to around 3ghz-3.6ghz then it would make good competition towards faster intels. i can conclude from this benchmark that if you buy an phenom 9850 and clock it around 3ghz you have much more horse power then you would have with an athlon x2 6000+ however some benchmarks might tell you something else it makes sence if you use 1066mhz memory or just 800mhz mem
  • tagasur
    i wish tom's would update this topic with new benchmarks on the amd phenom 9850be. i'd like to know if it's more stable now that the "nasty bug" has been remedied with the march 2008 product line refresh.
  • brian1143
    Well this review says its not much more performance. I'm upgrading from 939 and actually thinking of getting the $60 AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 (AM2+) and OC it to at least 3ghz and run 1066 memory. I'd rather save the money for the future rather than have a few extra FPS.

    Intel's core i7 really is clearly the better processor with more headroom, but AMD has always had them in the price to performance ratio department. AMD isn't going away and perhaps they can make a better processor like when Athlon 64 came out or at least close the gap and let their price to performance ratio carry them the rest of the way. (,2119.html)

  • mypobox
    Is an athlon II x3 really better then a phenom I x4 for 73$ at newegg ??