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Phenom II X4 955: AMD's Dragon Platform Evolves

Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding

The Phenom II X3 720 sticks out like a sore thumb in this threading-aware transcoding test. The Phenom II X4s perform well, though, outpacing the Core 2 Quad Q9550 and approaching Intel’s Core i7 920. Intel’s Nehalem design continues to exert its A/V-oriented dominance, but AMD is in the ballpark at least.

iTunes is decidedly not threaded, responding most readily to raw clock speed and micro-architecture (the Core i7 920’s loss in clock speed versus the Core 2 Quad is almost enough to normalize the two). AMD trails behind though, even if we see solid scaling from 2.8 to 3.0 to 3.2 GHz.

Running the latest versions of DivX and Xvid, TMPGEnc gives us two benchmarks in one. Naturally, we enabled everything up through SSE4 for the Intel processors and SSE/SSE2/3DNow! for the AMD chips (this one supports CUDA acceleration, too).

DivX is thread-aware, and we see the Phenom II X3 again drop off performance-wise versus the quad-core models. The Phenom II X4 955 bests Intel’s Core 2 Quad Q9550, but is, in turn, walloped by the Core i7 processors.

Xvid is not able to take advantage of the quad-core CPUs, and instead reacts to clock speed. The latest Phenom II and Core 2 Quad go head-to head, both getting bested again by the Core i7s.

We’re running the 64-bit version of Lame, but that doesn’t seem to affect performance much, when we compare these numbers to our old 32-bit results. Again, we see the effects of core clock manipulating performance rather than threading. All of the AMD processors are outmaneuvered by Intel’s Core 2 and Core i7 lineups.

  • 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