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Phenom II X2 555 Vs. Pentium G6950: New Budget Dual-Core Titans

Test Systems And Benchmarks

We used two test systems that shared the same hard drive, CPU cooler, and memory in order to minimize the variables. The Intel system was benched both with the Pentium G6950 and Core i5-750 for comparison.

To keep the CPUs frosty, we needed something that'd work on both systems, providing better cooling than the stock pieces and cheap enough to apply to budget overclocking systems. It wouldn't make sense to put a $50 cooler on a $100 CPU. The resulting cost would approach the price of a retail Core i5-750 and its stock cooler.

For this task we chose the Cooler Master TX3. While it's far from the most effective cooler out there, its $15 price tag makes it an ideal fit. Plus, it's compatible with Socket AM3 and LGA 1156 interfaces. With the fan running at 100%, the TX3 provides fairly good cooling performance, although it's a little louder than we'd like. But when you're overclocking on a budget, performance and price are more important than comfort.

For the AMD system, we chose to use Asus' M4A785TD-V EVO motherboard, a solid piece built around the 785G chipset that has good memory support and overclocking prowess.  At just under $100 online, it is a solid low-cost overclocking board.

For the Intel system, we wanted to use the P55 chipset at a reasonable price (since we weren't planning to employ Intel's on-package integrated graphics). Our choice was Gigabyte's GA-P55-UD3L that costs $105 online, fairly close to the price of our AMD board. Unfortunately we couldn't get a hold of one in time so our testing was done on the considerably more expensive GA-P55-UD4P. Performance should be identical though, as both boards use the same P55 chipset. The good news is that we will be testing the CPU on a comparably-priced board in our follow-up article.

Intel Test SystemAMD Test System
CPUIntel Pentium G6950 2.8 GHz Dual-core, 3MB L3 CacheIntel Core i5-750 2.66 GHz Quad-core, 8MB L3 CacheAMD Phenom II X2 555 (Deneb),3.2 GHz, 2,000 MHz HT, 6MB L3Cache
MotherboardGigabyte P55-UD4P LGA 1156 Chipset: Intel P55 ExpressAsus M4A785TD-V EVO Socket AM3 Chipset: AMD 785G, BIOS 0410
NetworkingOnboard Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryMushkin PC3-10700  2 x 2,048MB, DDR3-1066, CL 7-8-8-24-1-1TOverclocked: DDR3-1260, CL 8-9-9-24-1TMushkin PC3-10700  2 x 2,048MB, DDR3-1333, CL 9-9-9-24-1TOverclocked:DDR3-1426, CL 9-9-9-24-1T
GraphicsXFX Radeon HD 5850(underclocked to reference speeds) 1GB GDDR5 Radeon HD 5850 GPU at 725 MHz
Hard DriveWestern Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7,200 RPM, 32MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/s
PowerCorsair CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V, EPS12V , 80-Plus Certified
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 x64
DirectX versionDirectX 11
Graphics DriversATI Catalyst 9.12
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool High Quality, No AA
Fallout 3Patch 1.7, Saved Game "Capital Wasteland" (60 sec) Highest Details, No AA, No AF
Far Cry 2Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark Ultra High Quality, No AA
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.XPatch 1.02, DirectX 10.1, in-game benchmark Highest Settings, No AA
World in ConflictPatch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo Very High Details, No AA / No AF
Audio/Video Encoding
iTunes 8Version: 8.2.1.6 (x64) Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min Default format AAC
Lame MP3Version: 3.98.2, wave to MP3 Audio CD "Terminator II" SE, 53 min wave to MP3
TMPGEnc 4.0 ExpressVersion: 4.7.3.292 Import File: "Terminator 2" SE DVD (5 Minutes) Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9
DivX 6.8.5Encoding mode: Insane Quality Enhanced multithreading enabled using SSE4 Quarter-pixel search
XviD 1.2.2Display encoding status = off
MainConcept Reference 1.6.1 Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264), MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio: MPEG2 (44.1 KHz, 2 Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s), Mode: PAL (25 FPS)
Productivity
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (64-bit)Version: 11.0 Extended, Filter 15.7MB TIF Image Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Autodesk 3ds Max 2010Version: 11.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)
Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8.5Version: 8.5.287, Virus database 2094, Benchmark: Scan 334MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files
WinRAR 3.90Version x64 3.90, Dictionary = 4,096KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
WinZip 12Version 12.1, WinZip Command Line Version 3.0 Compression = Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334MB)
Synthetic Benchmarks
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.01, GPU and CPU scores
PCMark VantageVersion: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player 10.00.00.3646
SiSoftware Sandra 2009 SP4aVersion 2009.9.15.130, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / MultiMedia, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • footsoldier
    Kudos to AMD! Gogogo!
    Reply
  • jasont78
    good article we like to know ur human and can blow shit up
    Reply
  • alchemy69
    Bring on the battle of the fanboys. I'll get the popcorn.
    Reply
  • obarthelemy
    I see a bunch of overclocking articles... do you have any clue about how many of your readers overclock ? and how many of the public at large ?

    My guess from personal anecdote would be 10% and 0.01 % resp ?
    Reply
  • burnley14
    obarthelemyI see a bunch of overclocking articles... do you have any clue about how many of your readers overclock ? and how many of the public at large ?My guess from personal anecdote would be 10% and 0.01 % resp ?It's pretty much a free way to get better performance, so I'm glad they have so many articles about it.
    Reply
  • That's great news for my next budget PC :D
    Reply
  • volks1470
    I'd say a decent majority do overclock, and this site isn't exactly for the general public. Not very people get what's going on here on Tom's.

    POLL!!
    Reply
  • blackjellognomes
    obarthelemyI see a bunch of overclocking articles... do you have any clue about how many of your readers overclock ? and how many of the public at large ?My guess from personal anecdote would be 10% and 0.01 % resp ?
    More like 50% and 5%, I think.
    Reply
  • melangex3
    If you read this article, you are probably in a higher percentage group than the general public!
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    Good showing by AMD!
    Reply