Skip to main content

Phenom II X4 955: AMD's Dragon Platform Evolves

Power Consumption

We pulled some fairly interesting results in measuring power consumption. First, it’s worth noting that with our Core i7 965 engineering sample keyed in to replicate the performance of a Core i7 920, SpeedStep was unavailable, locking clock speed in at 2.66 GHz on our Asus P6T reference motherboard. Thus, all of our idle numbers were measured with each platform running at its rated maximum clock. Fortunately, there’s a new retail Core i7 920 (with its unlocked memory multipliers) en route to the lab right now.

That might help explain the wonky idle numbers, which show the X3 720 sucking down more juice than either of the quad-core Phenom IIs, but it can’t account for the load results. Again, the Phenom II X3 is just way above the other two Phenom IIs.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Core 2 Quad Q9550 is so far down there because that chip is really a Core 2 Quad Q9550S—Intel’s energy-efficient model rated at a 65W TDP (and explored in my more depth right here). It’s really the low-power champion here, even if it costs a startling $400 to the Q9550’s $270.

At the end of the day, it’s AMD’s relatively new 45nm manufacturing process that enables the new Phenom II X4 955 to almost exactly match the X4 940—chalk that 1W difference up to the benefits of running 1.8V DDR3 rather than our 2.1V DDR2 modules.

  • inmytaxi
    Why call a 955 $255 plus 790GX mb $110 plus 4 gb ram $41 is $500, when it's actually $410 before shipping and rebates, which about cancel out? And that's just picking off the cheapest at newegg and not price shopping, which might knock it below $400.

    Not to mention the six months on the market the other set up has had to drop in price ...
    Reply
  • lanestew
    Fingers crossed for AMD. Intel needs a competitor!
    Reply
  • inmytaxi
    Of course, even at NewEgg, the i7 is still just a benny more, at $280 for the i7, $84 for 1600 6gb ram and $200 for a MB. What's, $564 before ship and rebates, knock $50 if you get the i7 at microcenter, and another $20 on real cost after nit picking out shipping and rebates ... and settle for 1333 ram ... you're within fifty bucks!!!

    If it wasn't for that Nvidia issue with the i7 ...
    Hell,
    Reply
  • inmytaxi
    Hell, you can knock seventy off the hundred dollar price diff. with an open box motherboard for one thirty instead of twoo hundred.

    Nice processor, but until the price drop comes the only reason to buy it is if you're upgrading. If you're doing a clean sweep it's the i7 all the way.

    Reply
  • gsacks
    inmytaxiHell, you can knock seventy off the hundred dollar price diff. with an open box motherboard for one thirty instead of twoo hundred.Nice processor, but until the price drop comes the only reason to buy it is if you're upgrading. If you're doing a clean sweep it's the i7 all the way.
    Not fair. Don't compare open box prices to new prices. If you want to buy used/refurb/reconditioned/open box, then compare the prices against the same used/refurb/reconditioned/open box equivalent for the other platform. Otherwise, you are fudging your numbers.
    Reply
  • trevorvdw
    "The only standout in this clumsy console port is AMD’s Phenom II X3 720, which lags at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. The rest of the processors serve up reasonably close performance, per what we’ve come to expect from Grand Theft Auto 4."

    Yeah that whole less than 10% behind the i7 920 is totally lagging and not close in performance... who writes this drivel?
    Reply
  • for gamers: seriously, get the 720BE and oc it to death. then spend your money on VIDEO CARD(S)... that's what's important here!
    Reply
  • hmph... -1. i said FOR GAMERS. nerd.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    Yup--any of these games will be fine with a 720 BE and more graphics muscle.
    Reply
  • lanestew
    If only those AM3 boards had SLI.....
    Reply