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AMD's Piledriver And K10 CPU Architectures Face Off

Test System Configuration And Benchmarks

System Test Configurations
CPUAMD FX-6350 (Vishera) 3.9 GHz (19.5 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3+, 8 MB Shared L3, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled, Overclocked to 4.52 GHz (22.5 * 200.92), 1.404 V load, 2612 MHz HT Link, 2210 MHz CPU-NB Frequency
AMD FX-4350 (Vishera) 4.2 GHz (21 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3+, 8 MB Shared L3, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled, Overclocked to 4.72 GHz (23.5 * 200.92), 1.440 V Load, 2612 MHz HT Link, 2411 MHz CPU-NB Frequency
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (Deneb) 3.4 GHz (17 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3, 6 MB Shared L3, Power-savings enabled, Overclocked to 4.02 GHz (20 * 200.91), 1.392 V Load, 2008 MHz HT Link, 2411 MHz CPU-NB Frequency
AMD Athlon X4 750K (Trinity) 3.4 GHz (17 * 200 MHz), Socket FM2, No L3 Cache, Turbo Core enabled, Power-savings enabled, Overclocked to 4.30 GHz (43 * 100), 1.464 V Load, 2000 MHz CPU-NB Frequency
AMD Athlon X4 640 (Propus) 3.0 GHz (15 * 200 MHz), Socket AM3, No L3 cache, Power-savings enabled, Overclocked to 3.6 GHz (15 * 240), 1.428 V Load, 1920 MHz HT Link, 2400 MHz CPU-NB Frequency
CPU CoolerXigmatek HDT-S1283 120 mm air cooler
MotherboardsGigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3, Socket AM3+, AMD 990FX, BIOS FC  (02-05-13)
Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4, AMD A85X, BIOS F4  (03-13-13)
RAM8 GB (2 x 4 GB) Crucial PC3-12800 kitStock: DDR3-1600, CL 8-8-8-24 at 1.5 VOverclocked: Athlon II/Phenom II: DDR3-1600/1607, CL 8-8-8-24, Athlon X4 750K/FX-6350/FX-4350: DDR3-1866/1875 9-9-9-24 @ 1.6 V
Common
GraphicsSapphire Radeon HD 7970, 950 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5700
System DriveSamsung 840 Pro 256 GB, SATA 6Gb/s SSD
PowerCorsair Professional Series HX1050, 1050 W, 80 PLUS Silver
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 8 Professional x64
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 13.2 Beta 7
Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Borderlands 2Version 1.0.28.69606, DirectX 9, Custom Run, Fraps Test Set 1: Medium Quality Settings, Low PhysX, 8x AF Test Set 2: Highest Quality Settings, Low PhysX,  FXAA,16x AF
Crysis 3Version 1.0.0.2000, Direct X 11, Custom Run, 60-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: Lowest Quality Settings, No AA, 1X AF Test Set 2: Medium Quality Preset, FXAA, 8x AF Test Set 3: Very High Quality Preset, 2x SMAA, 16x AF
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimVersion 1.8.151.0.7, Custom Run, 25-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
F1 2012Version 1.2, Direct X 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 8x AA
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. FRAPS "Amanaki Outpost" Test Set 1: High Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO Test Set 2: Ultra Quality, 2x MSAA, Enhanced ATC, HDAO
Hitman: AbsolutionV. 1.0.446.0, DirectX 11, Built-in Benchmark Test Set 1: Medium Quality Preset, No MSAA, 2x AF Test Set 2: Ultra Quality Preset, 2x MSAA, 16x AF
StarCraft II: Heart of the SwarmVersion 2.0.9.26147, Custom Run "Harvest of Screams" Campaign Mission, 60-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Preset, No AA, 8x AF, FXAA Enabled Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, 8x AA, 16x AF, FXAA Enabled
Tomb RaiderVersion 1.00.722.3, Direct X 11, Custom Runs, "Chasm Monastery", "Mountain Village", 45-Sec. Fraps Test Set 1: High Quality Preset Test Set 2: Ultimate Quality Preset
Audio/Video Encoding
HandBrake CLIVersion: 0.98, Video: Video from Canon Eos 7D (1920x1080, 25 frames) 1 Minutes 22 Seconds, Audio: PCM-S16, 48,000 Hz, Two-Channel, to Video: AVC1 Audio: AAC (High Profile)
iTunesVersion 10.4.1.10 x64: Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 minutes, default AAC format
LAME MP3Version 3.98.3: Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min, convert WAV to MP3 audio format, Command: -b 160 --nores (160 Kb/s)
TotalCode Studio 2.5Version: 2.5.0.10677, MPEG-2 to H.264, MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec, 28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2), Audio:MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, Two-Channel, 16-Bit, 224 Kb/s) Codec: H.264 Pro, Mode: PAL 50i (25 FPS), Profile: H.264 BD HDMV
Abobe Creative Suite
Adobe After Effects CS6Version 11.0.0.378 x64:Create Video, Three Streams, 210 Frames, Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously
Adobe Photoshop CS6Version 13 x64: Filter 15.7 MB TIF Image: Radial Blur, Shape Blur, Median, Polar Coordinates
Adobe Premiere Pro CS6Version 6.0.0.0, 6.61 GB MXF Project to H.264 to H.264 Blu-ray, Output 1920x1080, Maximum Quality
Adobe Acrobat X ProVersion 10.0.0.396: Print PDF from 115 Page PowerPoint, 128-bit RC4 Encyption
Productivity
ABBYY FineReaderVersion 10.0.102.95: Read PDF save to Doc, Source: Political Economy (J. Broadhurst 1842) 111 Pages
Autodesk 3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mentalray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
BlenderVersion 2.64a, Cycles Engine, Syntax blender -b thg.blend -f 1, 1920x1080, 8x Anti-Aliasing, Render THG.blend frame 1
Compression
7-ZipVersion 9.28, LZMA2, Syntax "a -t7z -r -m0=LZMA2 -mx=5" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
WinRARVersion 4.2, RAR, Syntax "winrar a -r -m3" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
WinZipVersion 17.0 Pro, Syntax "-a -ez -p -r" Benchmark: THG-Workload-2012 (1.3 GB)
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1, Performance Suite
PCMark 7Version: 1.0.4, System, Productivity, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks
SiSoftware Sandra 2013Version: 2013.01.19.11, Processor  Arithmetic, Cryptography, Memory Bandwidth Benchmarks
  • KelvinTy
    So much BS, the old Phenom II X4 and X6 BE are still really competitive after all these years. Yet, if they bother to update the instruction set, and just shrink the thing, then change it to AM3+ socket, that would be great...
    K10 has so much more potential...
    Reply
  • Personally, I was surprised to see the FX-4350 do so well. The bump up, compared to the FX-4300, has really done it some good.
    Reply
  • MU_Engineer
    Kelvin, the tests showed that the Piledriver FXes are not that far off the Phenom IIs clock for clock and core for core. The Phenom II X4 965BE at 4.0 GHz was generally about as fast as the stock FX-4350 running 200-400 MHz faster so you figure about a 5% per-clock, per-core advantage for the Phenom II. However, each Piledriver core is quite a bit smaller than a K10 core and they also have a longer pipeline so they can clock quite a bit faster (K10 was pretty well tapped out.) So you get more cores and more clocks out of Piledriver with essentially the same performance per core and per clock. I'd say that the modular architecture used in the FXes finally got the vindication it deserved with this test. Way to go Tom's.
    Reply
  • Onus
    As I was going through this, at first I was worried about the absence of comparison to Intel, but was relieved to see it at the end. Especially if I don't want to push my 970BE really hard (I'd rather play on my PC than with it), the FX-63x0 looks like a viable upgrade.
    Reply
  • cmartin011
    I want some juice GPU news. I am aware they are not going anywhere fast with CPUs. My wallet will be open for 8 core in 2 years when performance Increases 20%
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    I just want some solid numbers on Steamroller already.
    Reply
  • magnesiumk
    Thank you so much for writing this article. Thank you also for including the Phenom II 965 processor to this test. I use it, and it is somewhat dated, and hard to find compared to newer cores. However it still kicks a lot of butt in gaming. I bought my Phenom II 955BE C3 last year with overclocking in mind

    I always wanted to see how it would compare to newer models, and even intel counterparts. Thank you for this. I loved reading the article. Keep comparisons like this coming.
    Reply
  • magnesiumk
    I also wanted to add, thank you for listing the 965BE with overclock at 4Ghz. It's easy to clock this processor up to those speeds. That's about what I run at, and it also runs much greater than stock speeds. This is important in future comparison tests. Thanks again.
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    Wanted to see i3 and i5 CPUs on the charts. Not just in the "Wrapping things up" section. Also, why not compare to a i5-3470? It's locked, cheaper, and still fast.
    Reply
  • crisan_tiberiu
    if the 6350 is so close to the 3570k the 8350 eats it alive..and everybody recommends the i5 ^-. AMD has still good value
    Reply