Socket AM3: AMD's Phenom II Gets DDR3

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Hardware Configuration

AMD Phenom II X4 940 Black Edition @ 3 GHz (AM2+)

AMD Phenom II X4 810 @ 2.6 GHz (AM3)

AMD Phenom II X4 910 simulated @ 2.6 GHz (AM2+)

AMD Phenom X4 9950 @ 2.6 GHz (AM2+)

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition @ 2.8 GHz (AM3)

AMD Phenom X3 8750 Black Edition @ 2.4 GHz (AM2+)

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 @ 3.16 GHz (LGA 775)

Intel Core i7 920 @ 2.66 GHz (LGA 1366)


Asus M4A79T Deluxe (790FX/SB750) Socket AM3

Asus M3A78-T (790GX/SB750) Socket AM2+

Asus Rampage II Extreme (X58/ICH10) LGA 1366

Intel DX48BT2 (X48/ICH10) LGA 775


Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 1 GB


Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250 GB

Lite-On DH-4O1S BD-ROM


4 GB (2 GB x 2) Corsair Dominator DDR2-1066 5-5-5-15 @ 2.1 V

4 GB (2 GB x 2) Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ 1.65 V (AMD)

6 GB (2 GB x 3) Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 @ 1.65 V (Intel)

Software Configuration

Operating System

Windows Vista Ultimate Edition x64

Graphics Drivers

GeForce 181.22

Benchmarks And Settings

Benchmarks and Settings

3D Games


Version: 1.2.1, Video Quality: Very High Details, Demo: CPU-Benchmark + Tom’s Hardware Tool

Far Cry 2

Quality settings set to max, 2560x1600/1920x1200, latest Steam version, in-game benchmark (Ranch medium).

Left 4 Dead

Quality settings set to max, 2560x1600/1920x1200, latest Steam version, timed demo.

Call of Duty: World at War

Quality settings set to max, 2560x1600/1920x1200, Patch v1.1, 60s FRAPS run through Semper Fi campaign.

Audio Encoding


Version:, Audio CD ("Terminator II" SE), 53 min., Default format AAC

Lame MP3

Version: 3.98 Beta 3 (05-22-2007), Audio CD ""Terminator II" SE, 53 min, wave to MP3, 160 Kb/s

Video Encoding


Version:, Import File: "Terminator II" SE DVD (5 Minutes), Resolution: 720x576 (PAL) 16:9

DivX 6.8.3

Encoding mode: Insane Quality, Enhanced Multi-Threading, Enabled using SSE4, Quarter-pixel search

XviD 1.1.3

Display encoding status=off

Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1
Reference H.264 Plugin Pro 1.5.1

MPEG2 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), Profile: Tom’s Hardware Settings for Qct-Core


Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9

Version: 9.0, Rendering Dragon Image at 1920x1080 (HDTV)

Grisoft AVG Anti-Virus 8

Version: 8.0.134, Virus base: 270.4.5/1533, Benchmark: Scan 334 MB Folder of ZIP/RAR compressed files

Winrar 3.80

Version 3.70 BETA 8, WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3, Compression=Best, Dictionary=4,096 KB, Benchmark: THG-Workload (334 MB)

Winzip 11

Version 11.2, Compression=Best, Benchmark: THG-Workload (139 MB)

Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings

3DMark Vantage

Version: 1.02, GPU and CPU scores

PCMark Vantage

Version: 1.00, System, Memory, Hard Disk Drive benchmarks, Windows Media Player

SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2

Version 2008.5.14.24, CPU Test=CPU Arithmetic/MultiMedia, Memory Test=Bandwidth Benchmark

This thread is closed for comments
    Your comment
  • kelfen
    Cheering the underdog in hopes for better compitition to benifit the consumer!
  • groo
    I sure don't see the point of spending cash on DDR3 unless you are also spending cash on i7. I woudn't mind a CPU that can handle DDR3 in the future, but there sure isn't a reason toupgrade to it at today's memory prices.
  • Aatish
    nice review... but....
    strangely AMD is performing better than core i7 920!
    what did I miss? in previous benchmark done by you guys showed AMD performing quite less than what I see in this benchmark! can anyone clear my confusion? please!:)
  • Commlock
    Very good test indeed that shows, IMHO, to go with an overclocked Core i7 if DDR3 is to be preferred. Otherwise, sticking with DDR2 RAM, an AM2+ MoBo and A Phenom II 940-like CPU seems the best optimized system. However, concerns can be put forward on the continuity of the system in couple of years' time, where simply upgrading without major component changes can be discussed.
  • sohei
    an AM2 mobo is compatible with AM3?
  • I understand the fact that you guys compare cpu's in the same price region plus whats available to you and the socket upgrade and all that. But i would really like to see how the AMD 940 Black Edition compare to Intel Corei7 EE 965. And maybe include the corei7 940 to. An all out performance battle with just the benchmark figures that counts
  • waffle911
    The 940 runs at 3 GHz. The 920 and 720 both cruise at 2.8 GHz. But the 910, 810, and 710 all run at 2.6 GHz. There goes the idea that each increment of 10 corresponds to 100 MHz. The 805 chugs along at 2.5 GHz.

    Looks to me like every increment of 10 in the designation yields a 200MHz clock increment, and 5 being 100MHz. But then either the 940 should actually be the 930. Then again, Volvo's recent product nomenclature doesn't add up, either. the V50 is the wagon variant of the S40, and the V70 was the wagon variant of the S60, but is now of the new S80. But they can't change it to V90 because then the Cross-Country variant of the V70 would have to be called he XC90 instead of XC70—but they already have an XC90 SUV. Digging themselves into a hole of consumer confusion, AMD and Volvo both.

    But why is AMD shafting early adopters by shutting out AM2+ PhenomII from the AM3 platform without even offering an AM3 920/940?
  • Well, can't agree with socket chart.
    Let's see (long run)
    AMD&Intel: Socket 7 (intel up to some 266MHz?, AMD up to 550MHz)
    Intel Slot 1 - with FCPGA adapters up to some 1200MHz?
    AMD SlotA - with socketA adapters up to some 1600MHz?
    PPGA s370 ~ 600MHz?
    FCPGA (coppermine) 1100MHz
    FCPGA2 (tualatin) 1500MHz?
    Guess what...PPGA/FCPGA/FCPGA2 were the same socket (s370).
    Now...SocketA ranged from 800MHz Durons to 2GHz AthlonXP 3200+
    P4 start was with socket 423, but intel soon abandoned it for 478, however there were some adapters for some CPUs which allowed s478 CPUs to work on s423 mobos.
    AMD with A64 introduced single channel DDR platform on s754. Later in 939 there was enhancement with dual channel and dual core. But then DDR2 appeared with quite low prices - so they moved to AM2.
    Intel brought LGA775, but most chipsets for Prescott couldn't handle Core 2, later C2D FSB800MHz chipsets couldn't handle FSB1066 and 1333MHz C2D/C2Q cpus. And now we get LGA1366, 1156 and some more for the same familly. Well, I guess intel is more disruptive than AMD. I can put PhenomII 810 AM3 to my AM2 mobo on M1695+NF3, some NF3 ASRock users can do that too. AM2/2+/3 is on the best way to be worthy SocketA successor.
  • raden_muaz
    I've been waiting for so long for this phenom ii to come.
    At last, phenom beats i7 in some kind of way.

    Anyway, I never bought Intel for years because:
  • sohei
    there are 5 sokets technically but 2 physically
    my question is : somebody try a am2/am2+ with a am3 cpu?
  • t85us

    what did you expected from intel ? guess who they are ? the same who (probably) massacred your (i think) nation.
    that's why i won't ever buy anything that is related to intel
  • nerrawg
    Nice to see some OC friendly chips from AMD!
  • raden_muaz
    I do expect Intel to excel far better than AMD (I'd love to buy an i7, but I just can't)

    About the massacred nation - I'm a Malaysian - they massacred my muslims brothers in Gaza.
  • VTOLfreak
    There's something funny about these i7 920 scores. I replaced a Q6600 OCed to 3.2GHz for a i7 920 and the 920 wiped the floor with the Q6600 3.2GHz without any overclocking. So how can a E8500 with only 2 cores at 3.16GHz outrun a i7 920?

    After I overclocked my i7 920 to 3.6GHz, my old Q6600 rig started looking like a mule in comparison.
  • sohei
    e 8400,e 8500 are better in games comparative with q 6600 (with stock clocks)
    it is easy to synchronize 2 cores at 3 ghz than 4 at 3 ghz
    this is the problem with multicore technology ...n+1 cores = n-1 efficiency's like engines you want torque or speed?
    in games GHz are more important than other things
  • sohei
    this amd cpus are great!with stock voltages you can pass 3 ghz easily ..... yaaaamaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    a new species of velocity raptor
  • neiroatopelcc
    So in theory I could buy a new 720BE cpu and use it in my old tforce 550 (nforce 550 chipset) board?
  • jameskangster
    Ok, I must be missing something here. I compared the AM3, AM2+ reviews from Tom's Hardware and Anandtech (, and the results seem to contradict each other specifically relating to the game benchmarks. I understand there are subtle differences in the configuration setup, but i7 performs not so favorably according to Tom's Hardware's benchmarks, whereas at Anandtech's review, it pretty much stays on top in every benchmark.
  • t85us
    well, theoretically that's the plan.

    I'm also wondering, if my asus m2a-vm mobo will support these new cpus. that would be great
  • jameskangster
    I apologize for keep posting other site's reviews, but it just bugs me that the other site's have different results posted compared to Tom's Hardware. Extremetech's review (,2845,2340569,00.asp) benchmarks are also similar to Anandtech's results. Although, they use Nvidia 9800 GTX. Maybe Tom's Hardware could review its performance tests and systems setup?
  • neiroatopelcc
    I'm in no position to judge who are right, but ever since the first i7 review it's been clear that the old core2 processors deal better with most games. If that's due to lack of optimization for new features, or if i7 just isn't a gamers cpu I can't tell. But toms hardware has consistently shown that core 2 does better in games than i7. If they're right or wrong I cant say though. I don't have both platforms at home to play with.
  • jameskangster
    I totally agree about old Core2 processors performing better than i7 in most/certain games. I just didn't understand how i7 performed worse than AM3, AM2 + Phenom II according to Tom's Hardware's benchmarks when at other tech site's performance reviews, i7 have consistently done better than the AMD solution. Again, I could have missed something, but like you I don't have all the right platforms to do my own benchmarks...
  • sohei
    Benchmark Results: A/V Encoding
    h264 : ..96 sec
    toms 98 sec
    man 2-3 % difference?

    look again
  • jameskangster
    To Sohei:
    I was talking about the gaming performance benchmarks, if you read my comments.