AMD Phenom II X4: 45nm Benchmarked

Conclusion: Phenom II Is A Great Leap Forward

Compared to AMD’s first quad-core processor, the Phenom, its Phenom II successor offers great improvements, particularly in the area of energy consumption. With all due respect to Intel and the performance milestones it has achieved, the Phenom II offers a better energy consumption profile than either the Core i7 or Core 2 Quad platforms.

In the overall competition, where the first line of attack appears in the price segment between $250 and $400, the AMD Phenom II processors place smack in between the already fading Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, and the new Core i7 920 CPUs. Above all, a complete Core i7 system costs more than a Phenom II because that Intel configuration requires a high-end motherboard and triple-channel DDR3 memory.

A comparison between the current top-of-the-line AMD Phenom II X4 940 and the Intel Core i7 shows the Intel processor coming out about 22% faster. On the other hand, in comparison with the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, the same Phenom II CPU finishes about 10% ahead.

When it comes to system efficiency and energy consumption, if you put a Phenom II X4 940 system head-to-head against a Core 2 Quad Q6600, an AMD system delivers measurably better “performance per watt” figures.

The higher performance available from a Core i7 comes at a higher purchase cost, followed by higher energy consumption costs over a system’s lifetime.

As a result of its exceptional energy efficiency advances and an affordable price/performance ratio, AMD Phenom II X4 deserves our seldom-granted Recommended Buy award.

  • one-shot
    YAY!, The day has come! Haven't read it yet. I am excited to see what it brings!
  • firedogevan
    why focus on the q6600... wouldn't the q9550 or 9650 be a more accurate comparison given their respective locations in the product lineup?
  • dechy
    Yeah, the price comparison table should of included a Q9550, which costs same as i7 920 but with the lower mobo/ram combo price.

    Ends up being the same price as the AMD bundle, but with a good more performance... there goes the whole "AMD price/performance" aspect of this chip.
  • one-shot
    Great review. Maybe some overclocking later? There were some pretty high claims about its overclocking potential. I'll wait for AM3 before I retire my E6750.
  • cangelini
    Coming up soon one-shot--I was working on that one =)
  • V3NOM
    who cares about performance/watt? PRICE/PERFORMANCE is the big deal
  • The Q9xxx series would trump the PhenomII in all the categories listed above. THG, it was downright *criminal* to have not included the Yorkfield chips in your performance per dollar and performance per watt analysis.
  • nashville
    hey bert/tom's:
    good write up: thought id comment on i7 watts:
    "we measured the power consumption directly from the 12 volt rail that supplied the CPU", i read somewhere the only i7 core logic gets power from 12v rail, the uncore/cache part somewhere else. if this is true, you going to do another measurements?
  • kirvinb
    I'm so happy to see Intel has some competetion. While these new processors are not mind blowing, they offer some decent performance at the price given. I am sure this will lower the price of the q9400 and q9550, which is exactly what I want to see. Maybe even the i7s price will lower and maybe we will be back in the good days..where intel and amd flipped sides of the powerhouse like every 6 months..!! Good Write Up..
  • jj463rd
    On the forums someone mentioned "why did they use DDR2-800 RAM when DDR2-1066 would give better performance for the Phenom II".Wouldn't this skew the benchmarks by a little bit (perhaps 2 to 3%)?