Test System And Benchmarks
We're using two test systems that share the same type of hard drive, CPU cooler, memory, and graphics card in order to minimize the variables.
For the AMD system, we're using the Asus M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard. This board features a 785G chipset that showed great memory support and overclocking prowess in our AMD 785G motherboard roundup. At $100 online, it is a fantastic low-cost AMD overclocking board.
The Intel system uses Gigabyte's H55M-UD2H, a board that performed excellently in our Phenom II X2 555 vs. Pentium G6950 article. This motherboard costs just under $90 online.
We're choosing a single GeForce GTX 480 as the graphics card. Just to be clear, we're opting for this card not because it's something we recommend pairing with a low-end CPU, but because it's quite powerful, and should help remove any graphics subsystem bottlenecks from our CPU results.
We don't have a Phenom II X4 945 on hand, so we are simulating this processor by lowering the multiplier of a Phenom II X4 955 to bring the clock speed down to 3 GHz. This is also a good indicator of stock Phenom II X4 940 performance, as it uses the same multiplier and clock speed.
We're using the same multiplier-lowering technique to simulate Core i3-530 performance by lowering the multiplier of a Core i3-540 sample we have. Core i3 processors do not have a Turbo Boost mode, so this should work like a charm, as the Core i3-530 and Core i3-540 models are only differentiated with a single multiplier and a 133 MHz difference.
|Intel Test System||AMD Test System|
|CPU||Intel Pentium G6950 2.8 GHz (Clarkdale)Intel Core i3-530 2.93 GHz (Clarkdale)*Intel Core i3-540 3.06 GHz (Clarkdale)*simulated by lowering the multiplier of a Core i3-540||AMD Athlon II X2 260 3.2 GHz (Regor)AMD Athlon II X3 445 3.1 GHz (Rana)AMD Athlon II X4 640 3 GHz (Propus)AMD Phenom II X4 940/945 3 GHz (Deneb)****simulated by lowering the multiplier of a Phenom II X4 955|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte H55M-UD2H LGA 1156 Chipset: Intel H55, BIOSF8||Asus M4A785TD-V EVO Socket AM3 Chipset: AMD 785G, BIOS 0410|
|Networking||Onboard Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||Mushkin PC3-10700 2 x 2,048MB, 1,070 MHz, CL 7-7-7-16-1T|
|Graphics||GeForce GTX 480 Reference700 MHz GPU, 1GB GDDR5 at 924 MHz|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s|
|Power||ePOWER EP-1200E10-T2 1,200W ATX12V, EPS12V|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 7 x64|
|DirectX version||DirectX 11|
|Graphics Drivers||GeForce 197.75|
|Crysis||Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool High Quality, No AA|
|Aliens vs Predator||Version 220.127.116.11, Aliens vs Predator DirectX 11 benchmark Default Settings, No AA, 16x AF|
|Far Cry 2||Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark Ultra Setting, 4x AA|
|DiRT 2||Version 18.104.22.168, DirectX 11, in-game benchmark Ultra Settings, 8x AA|
|World in Conflict||Patch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo High Details, 2x AA, 2x AF|
|3DMark Vantage||Version: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores|